Driver Dispute Brewing

MTD Officials Expect No Service Disruptions

While Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) officials expect no service disruptions this week — despite the lack of a contract agreement with a union representing more than 160 employees, including its bus drivers — a labor dispute might not be far down the line.

MTD and Teamsters Union Local 186, which represents MTD drivers, mechanics, supervisors, and service personnel, have agreed to go into mediation to try to resolve the contract issues. Bill Elder with Local 186 said the primary issue was with health care, but because of the upcoming mediation, he didn’t want to expand. “There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the table,” he said.

MTD spokesperson David Damiano also wouldn’t elaborate on where the disagree­ments lie, given the upcoming mediation. “We should let that process work itself out.” He said the decision to employ a mediator helped avoid a strike. An MTD press release also said that both sides have made a good-faith effort to resolve the outstanding issues.

Elder said that the discussions are “kind of getting to the 11th hour” and that the two sides are “not even close” to a resolution. MTD, he said, hasn’t substantially parted from an offer made in August, one that union members rejected by about a 4-1 vote ratio. Union members have been working under the terms and conditions of their old agreement despite the contract’s expiration on June 30.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Self in Bathroom

A man barricaded in the bathroom of a Goleta business apparently killed himself after robbing a bank ...

News-Press’ Found to Owe Union and Employees $2.2 Million

National Labor Relations Board puts money amount on employee losses since 2006.

Fire Starts Just West of Buellton

[Update] Vegetation fire starts on the 1000 block of Highway 246; Bobcat Springs on evacuation warning.

UCSB Enrollment Up

Admission jumps 10 percent though housing concerns remain.

Banned in Santa Barbara

City Council says no more plastic straws or Styrofoam.