Drivers for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority submitted a contract proposal to company management Thursday, and the two parties are scheduled to meet this weekend with the hopes of ending the strike that began Monday.
The drivers' union, Teamsters Local 597 voted to strike last week over working conditions, hours and the hiring of part-time workers. They claim the company's contract proposal allows excessive management surveillance of drivers using buses' on-board cameras. They also say the length of time between the beginning and the end of their split shifts should be kept under control.
After a week of striking and repeated public requests from management for a counter-proposal to the company's contract offer, the union finally submitted a written counter-offer Thursday.
CCTA spokeswoman Meredith Birkett said the parties have a meeting scheduled for the weekend.
I can confirm that CCTA received a proposal from the Union on Thursday and that CCTA is reviewing it. The parties have agreed to a meeting this weekend, which will be mediated by the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service.
The FMCS mediator asked that we limit our comments at this time to the above information. Additionally, we have been asked not to share the specific time and location of this weekend's meeting.
Neither side has publicly disclosed the details of the counter-proposal, but CCTA management indicated in a release on Wednesday that the drivers would have to make concessions in order for the talks to be productive.
Whether the proposal shows real movement forward from previous positions will be an important measure of how serious the Union is about ending the strike.