Dayton RTA strike: Quick answers to 4 major questions

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Negotiations between the Greater Dayton RTA and the union representing its drivers and mechanics stalled again.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

We’re learning more about how a Greater Dayton RTA strike by the union representing bus drivers and mechanics could impact the area.

We’ve compiled a list of four frequently asked questions and answers to help you navigate this uncertainty.

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1. When could the strike occur?

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385, mostly bus drivers and mechanics, have selected Jan. 9 as the date workers will begin the strike if a contract is not reached.

LATEST:Union requests, RTA declines binding arbitration

The strike could begin at 12:01 a.m., but union officials said drivers will finish their after-midnight routes before returning buses and trolleys to the central garage, effectively shutting the system down. RTA executives said they’re working on a plan to secure assets if the strike occurs.

The Greater Dayton RTA driver strike could begin Jan. 9. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
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The Greater Dayton RTA driver strike could begin Jan. 9. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

2. Why are drivers potentially striking?

Union members and the regional transit authority are negotiating a new contract following the expiration of their last one in 2015. So far, negotiations have stalled due, union officials said, to insurance costs and wage increases.

MORE:30,000 riders could suffer under RTA union’s strike

After Christmas, union officials announced the strike date, then asked the next day if RTA executives would enter into a process called binding arbitration, which would have a third-party decide the contract. RTA officials declined the arbitration offer, arguing it would not be in the interest of taxpayers who fund the system.

3. Who are the people negotiating the contract?

The union and RTA each have teams of people negotiating, but the top individuals are Glenn Salyer, the ATU Local 1385 president, and Mark Donaghy, RTA’s chief executive officer.

MORE:Dayton RTA chief, union leader agree: They don’t like each other

Dayton police arrested Salyer in August and charged him with criminally trespassing on RTA property by distributing literature on a bus platform. Salyer maintains Donaghy was behind the arrest, but Donaghy states he wasn't in the office or available by phone during the incident, and he says Salyer wanted to be arrested. Read more about the arrest here.

Riders gather to catch buses at the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority hub downtown on April 21. JOSH SWEIGART / STAFF
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Riders gather to catch buses at the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority hub downtown on April 21. JOSH SWEIGART / STAFF

4. Who rides the RTA’s buses and trolleys?

About 30,000 people ride the system each day, RTA estimates. These include employees of local companies, school-aged students and people on their way to doctors appointments and social visits, among other trips.

For comparison, that’s about the equivalent of driving the combined population of Centerville and Moraine each day.

Do you have questions about the potential strike?

We'd like to hear your questions about the potential strike or your stories about how it could impact you. Contact reporter Will Garbe at will.garbe@coxinc.com to share.

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