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Orange County Bus Drivers Could Go On Strike Next Week

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Orange County residents who depend on public transportation have been warned to be prepared for a possible bus drivers' strike.

The Orange County Transportation Authority reported Monday that bus drivers could strike as early as next week.

OCTA officials are scheduled to meet with representatives of Teamsters Local 952 on Wednesday. If an agreement is not reached a bus driver strike could start Feb. 15.

OCTA officials say about 85% of their riders use the bus as the primary means of transportation.

If the drivers hit the picket lines, the public transportation agency plans to ask state officials to intervene with a "cooling-off period," so negotiations could continue along with service.

On Monday, the OCTA board of directors approved a new collective bargaining agreement with the union representing employees in the agency's operations division which includes a 12% increase in wages over the next 14 months and a $1,000 signing bonus.

The agreement with the Transportation Communications Union/International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers also bumps up salaries 8% immediately and then 4% more by April 1, 2023.

OCTA has met with Teamsters representatives 35 times to negotiate a new contract, which expired April 30, 2021.

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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