PARTA drivers’ union to strike this morning

Kelly Petryszyn

Employees decide to picket after years of negotiations fail

PARTA employees were to strike at 4 a.m. this morning after more than two years of failed contract negotiations.

According to a PARTA press release issued yesterday, federal mediator Laura Shepard called a meeting between PARTA’s representatives and Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 037, but the two parties did not reach a tentative agreement or meet face to face.

Trina Molnar, a field representative for OAPSE Local 037, said about 55 to 65 union members will picket at the PARTA office on Summit Road.

Timeline for PARTA/OAPSE


&bull Aug.11: meeting with OAPSE, PARTA and federal mediator

&bull Aug. 14: second meeting with OAPSE, PARTA and federal mediator

&bull Aug.15: OAPSE served PARTA with notice to strike

&bull Aug. 21: Unfair labor practice claim filed by OASPE against PARTA

&bull Aug. 25: Union workers may strike at PARTA office

The strike will not affect student drivers because they are not part of the union, nor will it affect the bus routes, said Frank Hairston, the marketing and equal employment opportunity director for PARTA.

According to the press release, “PARTA will continue to provide transportation to citizens of Portage Country, whether or not the drivers decide to strike … People who depend on PARTA for their daily transportation needs can be assured that PARTA will get them where they need to go.”

The negotiations, which began July 12, 2006, came to a halt when the association rejected a proposal from PARTA earlier this month. The package included benefits for part-time PARTA employees but lacked the inclusion of a fair share policy the union wanted.

“Fair share” makes non-union members either join the association or pay fees to it. The union is a bargaining unit for full-time and part-time employees.

Contact news correspondent Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].