PA: Capital Area Transit Looking into Driver call-offs; Contract Heads to Arbitration

Aug. 11--Capital Area Transit is trying to determine why driver call-offs occurred, prompting cancellation of seven routes Monday morning.

"We just had a number of call-offs. We're still trying to get to the bottom of it," said Bill Jones, CAT executive director.

CAT is headed to arbitration in September over a new contract with its drivers, whose contract expired June 30, 2013, Jones said.

While the CAT board approved an interim contract March 11 with bus drivers, it was never ratified by the union membership, Jones said Monday.

"Hopefully it's a one-time event," he said, adding it's prime vacation season, and "who knows what's going on out there. Before we jump to conclusions we need to do a full investigation."

Last February, CAT officials blamed driver call-offs for cancellation of routes over several weeks.

John Keller, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1436, said stalled contract talks wasn't the reason for call-offs. He said drivers were refusing to work overtime, and claimed CAT was under-staffed.

Keller didn't immediately return a telephone call regarding the Aug. 11 calls-offs.

The interim one-year contract approved by the CAT board would have given drivers a 2 percent increase. It also would have changed work rules as follows:

--Reduce the number of occurrences -- instances where employees take unscheduled time off work, such as a sick day or day off without pay -- from 14 to 12 instances a year;

--Reduce the numbers of "misses" employees can have from 12 in a six-month period to nine in a 12-month period.

These routes were canceled Aug. 11:

--ROUTE 8 -- DERRY ST: 5:54 AM OUTBOUND TO FRESH EXPRESS, WALMART & RUTHERFORD

--ROUTE 8 -- DERRY ST: 6:36 AM INBOUND FROM RUTHERFORD

--ROUTE 12 -- COLONIAL PARK: 7:05 AM TO OUTBOUND TO GATEWAY CORP. & LINGLESTOWN

--ROUTE 12 -- COLONIAL PARK: 8:07 AM TO INBOUND FROM LINGLESTOWN SQUARE

--ROUTE 12 -- COLONIAL PARK: 5:46 AM INBOUND FROM COLONIAL COMMONS (5:54 AM FROM BOSCOV'S)

--ROUTE M -- MECHANICSBURG: 6:20 AM OUTBOUND TO MECHANICSBURG (6:40 AM ARNOLD HAMPTON)

--ROUTE M -MECHANICSBURG: 7:10 PM INBOUND EXPRESS TO HARRISBURG

 

 

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