image description

BRTA Paratransit Drivers Accept Contract, Reject Strike

Staff ReportsPrint Story | Email Story
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A potential strike by paratransit drivers has been called off after members voted to accept an agreement with Paratransit Management of the Berkshires on Friday.
 
Robert Malnati, administrator of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, sent a brief notification late Friday that he had been told the tentative agreement settled on Wednesday had been voted by the paratransit union membership. Paratransit Management has operated the bus agency's paratransit services for nearly two years. 
 
The workers represented by International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 404 had rejected a "best and final offer" in early February and called for a strike. If the 18 members had walked, it would also have affected the 35 or so fellow union members employed by BRTA who would not have crossed the picket line.
 
The BRTA has an annual ridership of more than 600,000, with close to 80,000 of those through the paratransit service that supplements the fixed bus service for those with impaired mobility. A strike would have left thousands with no way to get to work, shopping or appointments.
 
A federal mediator was called in to work with the negotiators and the strike was delayed several times as the two sides edged closer together. The tentative agreement was reached on Wednesday and union members agreed to continue working until it was put to a full vote on Friday. If it had been rejected, the strike would have likely occurred next week. 
 
It is not clear what issues were at stake in the contract.  
 
"Thank you to the BRTA customers for your patience, understanding, and ridership during this process," Malnati wrote.
 

Tags: BRTA,   contract negotiations,   strike,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Pittsfield at-Large City Councilor Candidates Answer Questions

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Candidate for the four a-large City Council seats participated in a forum Monday at Berkshire Community College as they made a push for votes before election day.
 
Seven candidates fielded questions at a forum hosted by BCC, in partnership with the Pittsfield Gazette and Pittsfield Community Television, which recorded the forum. The moderator was Shawn Serre, executive director of PCTV.
 
After some opening statements, the candidates were asked to pick a number that prompted a question. After three candidates answered the question the next candidate in line chose a new number. At the end of the session, candidates were given two minutes to answer questions they did not get or to expand on the answers they gave.
 
One of the first questions brought forward was about Mayor Linda Tyer's proposed home improvement plan that would have allowed qualified residents to apply for money from the Pittsfield Economic Development Fund to make small improvements to their homes.
View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories