Union Representing BRTA Paratransit, Other Operators Rejects Contract Offer, Triggering Stoppage
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority riders can expect limited service today as dozens of drivers hit the picket line according to a report in the Berkshire Eagle.
The BRTA announced late Sunday afternoon the union representing paratransit and some of the fixed-route bus operators has rejected the public entity's latest contract offer presented to the federal mediator on Friday.
The union membership met Sunday to vote on the proposal and turned it down, thus the work stoppage will begin first thing Monday morning.
Officials say the BRTA will operate limited fixed route service during the strike, keeping riders updated on the BRTA website and media outlets of any changes.
A strike had been looming over the county's public transportation system due to contentious contract talks in recent weeks between the BRTA and the Pittsfield unit of Teamsters 404.
On Nov. 5, the union voted to reject a contract offer and authorize a strike to occur on or around Nov. 16. That strike was postponed and mediation resumed after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with union officials telling The Eagle progress was being made during negotiations.
In addition to the paratransit drivers, who operate small on-call vans for mobility-impaired individuals, the union also represents 38 fixed-route drivers.
BRTA limited fixed bus routes during the driver's strike:
Route 1 will operate 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 morning runs and 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30 evening runs.
Route 2 will operate 6:30, 8: 30-morning runs and 3:30 and 5:30 evening runs.
Route 11 will operate 7:35, 8:35, 9:35, and 10:35 morning runs and 1:50, 2:50, 3:50 and 4:50 evening runs.