Press Release1/6/2021

COTA & TWU Local 208 Reach Contract Agreement to Support Employees, Mobility Mission in Central Ohio

Today, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees approved a collective bargaining agreement with Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 208 that will enhance quality of life for employees and mobility options for the community. The agreement, which was also ratified by Local 208 membership, takes bold steps to support represented employees as they provide world-class essential service to tens of thousands of Central Ohioans every day.

“We have an impressive team of award-winning professionals who daily deliver world-class service to our community. This contract recognizes the important work they do, and supports our fixed route system well into the future,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “It also allows our organization to leverage opportunities that exist in the transportation space to help support our growing community. Undoubtedly, our organization must expand to meet the demand of this growing community, and this crucial step taken today means we can pursue these opportunities as a united team focused on moving lives forward.”

Key provisions of the agreement include:

  • Unprecedented flexibility to allow partnerships with other organizations for new, non-fixed-route service as long as it does not result in elimination of positions or wage reductions for existing employees.
  • Three percent wage increases in 2021, 2022 and 2023 for represented employees and an accelerated wage progression structure for operators.
  • Creation of an Alternative Work Schedule, allowing employees the option of working fewer than 40 hours a week, to maintain a preferred work-life balance.

The agreement between COTA and TWU, Local 208 also includes additional investments:

  • Permitting COTA to work with other transit providers so customers can better access high-capacity transit across the region.
  • Improving customer service by helping operators to become Certified Tourism Ambassadors through a program offered by Experience Columbus.
  • Recognizing Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday, furthering COTA’s goal of improving equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

TWU Local 208 includes COTA operators, vehicle maintenance and facilities maintenance employees. The contract is effective retroactively from December 28, 2020 through December 27, 2023.