WORCESTER (CBS) — Worcester bus drivers and the Worcester Regional Transit Agency have agreed to a fifteen day cooling off period, putting plans for a Saturday strike on hold.

A federal mediator will be brought in over the next two weeks to try and help the two sides resolve their differences.

The biggest sticking point in their contract talks is health care contributions. Union chief Chris Bruce says the Worcester Regional Transit Authority wants members’ contributions to jump from 13 percent to 25 percent all at once.

The WRTA provides bus service for thousands of riders in Worcester and 34 surrounding communities.

When contract talks broke down on Thursday, drivers called for a strike beginning Saturday. That would have left the 10,000 people who rely on the WRTA without transportation.


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