RTD Talks-Denver

Denver's mass transit operator and a union representing some 1,750 bus drivers, light-rail operators and mechanics are back at the bargaining table.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1001 overwhelmingly rejected a contract proposal last night and have given union leaders authority to strike.

Regional Transportation District spokesman Scott Reed says the vote is disappointing, but not surprising.

Union spokesman Dave Minshall says 95 percent of voters rejected RTD's contract offer and authorized a strike and that the offer was "just not enough."

The proposal would have increased wages by an average of a $1.80 hourly over three years.

Reed says RTD remains cautiously optimistic that it will reach and agreement with the union.

RTD bus and light-rail service will still run tomorrow as planned, since by law, the union must provide 72 hours' notice before workers go on strike.