August 18, 2015

Mayor Rothschild’s statement on bus strike

TUCSON, AZ—August 18, 2015

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild issued the following statement today on the Sun Tran bus strike.

“We’re encouraging both sides to come to the table and resolve their differences. This strike is hurting the community.

Some people are asking what the city’s role is with respect to negotiating an end to the strike. Under applicable law, mayor and council cannot intervene in, or dictate the outcome of, these negotiations. Sun Tran employees are not employees of the City of Tucson. The Federal Transit Administration requires that, to receive federal funding for transit, transit employees must have strike rights. However, Tucson’s City Charter prohibits city employees from striking. To meet FTA requirements, the city contracts with an outside vendor, PTM/TransDev, to run its bus system. That contract makes PTM/TransDev responsible for negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements with the Teamsters.

Under this structure, and in accordance with FTA requirements, the city cannot dictate terms to the parties in these negotiations, or it risks losing federal transit funds and breaching its contract with PTM/TransDev.”