Reno Bus Drivers Ask For Pay Raise

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(Reno, NV)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Union bus drivers with the city of Reno’s mass transit system are asking for a pay hike and changes to their benefits package. But, Reno Transit officials say that’s too much and they’ve called in a federal mediator to join negotiations. A contract for about 180 bus drivers with the teamsters in Reno expires on June 11th. The Reno Transit “Ride” service and the bus operators have been meeting the past few weeks to draft a new three-year agreement. Reno Ride manager Mike Steele says the biggest sticking point is driver compensation…especially for working holidays... “The union’s proposal over three years represents nine-million more than what we’re proposing…which is about 30-percent more than what we have on the table…” Steele says the gap is due to a recent downturn in sales tax revenues in Reno…and he says the money isn’t there…even though a fare hike went into effect a few months ago. Union rep…Mark Tracy says if they don’t get a contract soon…bus drivers are ready to go on strike… “It hasn’t happened since 2002…but that’s always a possibility when the two sides get into negotiations and can’t resolve their differences…” Reno bus drivers and the transit company go back to the negotiating table on June 7th.