Union again asks for binding arbitration with Greater Dayton RTA

The Greater Dayton RTA bus driver and mechanic strike could begin at one minute after midnight Jan. 9. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
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The Greater Dayton RTA bus driver and mechanic strike could begin at one minute after midnight Jan. 9. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The union representing the Greater Dayton RTA's mechanics and drivers again Friday asked their employer to enter binding arbitration to force a contract — something regional transit authority executives flatly rejected a day prior.

The Miami Valley’s system of buses and trolleys serving 30,000 riders daily will cease operation Jan. 9 if a new contract is not reached, union leaders have stated. Union leaders have offered to lift the strike if RTA agrees to binding arbitration, but RTA executives earlier said such an arrangement is not in the best interest of taxpayers.

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Transit officials did not immediately respond to the union offer Friday.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385 leaders said the new contract should include language making binding arbitration mandatory in order to prevent future strike threats. Negotiations are snagged on disagreements over increased pay, back pay for 2015 and insurance costs.