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Metro, Union Negotiators Reach Tentative Deal

Bill Rinehart

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority has reached a tentative contract with its union, which represents about 700 employees. 

Metro spokeswoman Sallie Hilvers won't talk about the terms of the deal until members have a chance to review it.

“The tentative agreement was reached late  (Wednesday), and our union members will have an opportunity to consider that in the next couple of weeks,'' Hilvers says. "And we’ll know at that point whether or not the new contract will be ratified." 

Metro and Amalgamated Transit Union leaders both cited a proposed van service for less utilized routes and health care costs as sticking points in negotiations.

Hilvers says until a new deal is accepted, union members will continue to work under the previous contract which expired October 31.

Local 627 President Troy Miller says since an agreement has been reached, union members have not acted on a strike authorization or on a vote of no confidence in Metro's General Manager Dwight Ferrell.

Miller has been critical of Ferrell, saying the Metro leader had not attended contract negotiations. 

Ferrell responded that negotiators were authorized to act on his behalf.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.