TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As the union worker strike against Sun Tran moves into its fourth week, both sides are still far apart in finding a solution.
On Thursday, Sun Tran called a press conference to announce that it will be adding another three routes to its Saturday service, but did not want to discuss the specifics of a new offer that it recently presented to the federal mediator involved in the negotiations.
The union said this is an insult.
"I'm offended they came back with a regressive offer which is bargaining in bad faith," said Teamsters Spokesman Andrew Marshall. "I mean how do you expect us to do anything but reject it."
According to Marshall, after studying the proposal with the mediator, it became apparent that "this is worse than the offer we already turned down."
That offer was rejected 363 no votes to 4 yes votes.
Sun Tran has said its initial offer was the "final and firm" offer and has not budged from it. The offer would cost $2.7 million over three years.
Teamsters officials said they have lowered their initial demand by 70 percent down to $5.7 million, but they have not seen a counter proposal they can take to the membership.
Marshall said 300 members showed up for a meeting on Thursday morning and they agreed to continue with the strike.
"It takes two sides to get any strike settled," Marshall said. "We're the only ones that made a proposal."
Marshall said he's not asking the city to get involved, but is asking Mayor Johnathan Rothschild and the council to encourage the city manager, city transportation department and Sun Tran to make an offer which can seriously be considered.
"Otherwise we're going to be on strike forever," he said. "And that's a sad state."
Sun Tran's General Manager, Kate Riley, outlined the proposal in a letter to the federal mediator Dennis Teel but requested "that this offer not be made public."
Teamsters officials said this should not be secret, and released both the letter and an outline of the proposal.
Their latest media release can be found HERE: http://tucsonne.ws/1LEY6Pm
The proposal can be found on Teamsters' website HERE: http://tucsonne.ws/1F1cWYE