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DCTA cuts ties with staffing organization and opts to bring hiring in-house

Denton Record-Chronicle

The Denton County Transportation Authority Board of Directors cut ties this past week with the organization that had employed bus operations and support staffers since 2019.

This comes after recent resignations of key leaders within North Texas Mobility Corporation prevented the corporation from raising wages and hiring new bus operators.

The North Texas Mobility Corporation has 78 employees, including 53 active bus operators, and all employees will be offered employment with DCTA, according to a news release.

The shift will allow DCTA to begin the process of employing bus operators and support staff with pay raises and better benefits, officials said.

With this decision, on Monday morning, the North Texas Mobility Corporation held a special meeting, during which the board voted to approve the termination and dissolve the corporation.

“It is important for us to care for our employees through this process, and we are committed to making the transition as seamless and easy as possible,” DCTA CEO Paul Cristina said in the release.

As reported by the Denton Record-Chronicle earlier this year, drivers operating DCTA buses were unhappy with the ongoing contract negotiations.

Victoria Allen, the executive board officer of the DCTA bus drivers’ union, voiced the drivers’ concerns to the DCTA Board of Directors in February, but the board had no say in the negotiations, which lie within the North Texas Mobility Corporation.

“So, I am here on behalf of my drivers,” Allen told the DCTA board in February. “We are in contract negotiations right now. And what was first presented to us was a huge slap in our face. Almost like that 2% cost of living raise we got. You say it was five [percent], but you know, we’re not stupid. You expect a lot of bus operators.”

Bus operators who wish to continue being represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338 chapter as DCTA employees will be able to do so in a manner that complies with state law.

DCTA created the North Texas Mobility Corporation in 2019 to employ operations and support staff on behalf of the association, and also work legally with unions supporting drivers.

The arrangement between DCTA and the North Texas Mobility Corporation enabled bus operators represented by the local union chapter to transition with the bus operation since DCTA, as a public agency in the state of Texas, cannot collectively bargain with the union.

Job offers from the North Texas Mobility Corporation to DCTA occurred on May 20, and the deadline to accept job offers will be June 14, according to the North Texas Mobility Corporation.

On Tuesday, Allen directed questions about contract negotiations to the union chapter. The Record-Chronicle reached out to the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338 chapter Tuesday afternoon, and the union said it could not comment due to ongoing negotiations.

The Record-Chronicle reached out to Jackie Bronson, DCTA’s director of human resources and administration, to clarify the status of the ongoing contract negotiations, but she did not immediately respond.