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COTA Board Approves Three-Year Contract With Transportation Union

A COTA bus in downtown Columbus in May.
David Holm
A COTA bus in downtown Columbus in May, after the transit authority reduced its offerings becuase of the pandemic.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority Board of Trustees has signed off on a new three-year contract with Transport Workers Union Local 208. The deal includes 3% wage increases for 2021, 2022 and 2023. 

The new contract approved Wednesday also allows employees to have a flexible work schedule with the option of working fewer than 40 hours a week. 

COTA will also be able to establish partnerships with other transit providers, as long as no positions are eliminated nor wages reduced for current workers. 

“This contract recognizes the important work they do and supports our fixed route system well into the future,” said COTA president Joanna Pinkerton in an emailed press release. “It also allows our organization to leverage opportunities that exist in the transportation space to help support our growing community.”

Other details of the contrat encourage drivers to become Certified Travel Ambassadors through an Experience Columbus program, and recognizes Juneteenth – June 19, commemorating the official end of slavery in the U.S. – as an annual paid day off.

The new contract extends until Dec. 27, 2023.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.