PARTA, union to discuss proposed labor agreement

Stacey Carmany

Sides meet for first time since August, hope to sign contract

Negotiators for the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 037 will meet with federal mediator Laura Shepard, management and attorneys for the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority today in Independence.

The parties will discuss a proposed labor agreement that PARTA attorney Thomas Evan Green sent to Trina Molnar, field representative and chief negotiator for OAPSE Local 037, on Sept. 17. PARTA and the union have not met for negotiations since Aug. 14.

Claudia Amrhein, PARTA human resources director, and operations manager Brian Trautman did not comment about what items were included in the proposed contract or whether a fair share provision would be offered.

In a PARTA press release, marketing director Frank Hairston wrote that “the proposed agreement consisted largely of items already agreed to by the parties, including some provisions that were informally resolved, but not formally signed as tentative agreements.

“To date, PARTA has not received a response to its Sept. 17 letter,” Hairston continued. “PARTA is hopeful that OAPSE will present this offer to its members.”

PARTA sent its proposal to Molnar, in part, “because OAPSE has professed to be confused about what PARTA has proposed,” according to the statement.

At the unemployment hearing Sept. 22, Molnar said, to her understanding, PARTA never presented a last, best and final offer to the union during negotiations.

She said yesterday that receiving the proposal after the union has been on strike for so long “is like shutting the barn door after the horse is out.”

Contact transportation reporter Stacey Carmany at [email protected].