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Union votes no confidence in transit CEO

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Posted at 3:07 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 17:08:01-05

CINCINNATI — The local transit union has voted no confidence in transit authority leadership.

According to Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627 President/Business Agent Troy Miller, the union unanimously voted no confidence in Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority CEO Dwight Ferrell on Thursday.

Miller said he has made multiple attempts to sit down and discuss issues facing Cincinnati Metro employees with no success.

“He refuses to answer my emails, return calls, and I have even been told by his office I can’t speak to him,” Miller said in a news release.

When asked about specific issues facing Metro employees, Miller told WCPO that his concerns with Ferrell are broader than any one issue.

“Every issue — it doesn’t matter how big or small it is — the general management should be able to sit down with us,” he said.

Miller said he also has tried sitting down with SORTA board chairman Jason Dunn, to similar results.

Threats of an ATU strike loomed over Metro last year as officials struggled to negotiate a new three-year contract. The dispute revolved around the use of new, smaller buses on certain city routes.

Similar complaints were filed against Ferrell by county employees while he served as county manager in Fulton County in Georgia, according to a 2014 report from WSB-TV in Atlanta.

During December’s State of Metro address, Ferrell mentioned wanting to work toward better relations with the transit union.

“Happy employees are necessary for happy customers. My commitment, publicly, is to make that happen.”

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, Dunn said the vote of no confidence does not affect Ferrell’s employment with SORTA.

“There are processes and protocols in place that have addressed ATU concerns expediently by appropriate and capable Metro staff,” Dunn said. “My concern is that the union’s action distracts from the immediate need to address the region’s transit issues.

“We are all on the same team and will work to resolve any misunderstanding.”