While her opponent in the City Council race has been silent, sitting City Councilwoman Regina Romero is suddenly changing her tune and calling for the Teamsters “to have realistic expectations.” Romero issued a statement on Friday in response to the growing dissatisfaction with the Council and Teamster’s exorbitant demands.
Romero says she issued the statement because “there has been a lot of conflicting information in the news about the Sun Tran strike. I want to make absolutely sure the community knows where I stand on this issue.”
Romero is pushing for a quick short-term fix as Election Day nears. Acknowledging that the strike is “crippling our community,” Romero wants to “craft a short term solution and then look to alternative methods to administer the system.”
“It’s unfair for residents and the City to allow this crisis to go on in perpetuity,” argued Romero. However, she condemned the Sun Tran management company for hiring temporary non-local operators. “Union-busting tactics only prolong and aggravate an already protracted conflict. Paying workers that don’t live in Tucson sends local taxpayer dollars out the window, and into other communities – and it doesn’t address the impasse at hand,” stated Romero. Yet, she admonished the “Teamsters need to get back to the table, and they need to have realistic expectations.”
According to Romero, realistic expectations would be based on the fact that all City employees have not seen raises since before 2012. “City of Tucson employees have gone without,” stated Romero. “Their most recent, long overdue pay adjustment was eaten up by rising healthcare costs.”
Needing union support to win, Romero is calling for the transit system to be operated by elected officials, who can cater to them, rather than the third party private management arrangement, which Romero calls “clearly flawed.”