First Student and the drivers’ union agree on a contract that includes expanded health care coverage for bus drivers and their families and a pension plan, ending a nine-day strike.
The drivers say they are calling for a retirement and health care package that is affordable enough to include their families. First Student says the contract it is offering the drivers is fair.
Drivers will receive more pay, sick leave, and increased retirement plan contributions in the new contract with Baumann & Sons Buses.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed to extend the controversial $42 million program that subsidizes experienced school bus drivers' pay and benefits.
The bids did not include certain protections for experienced bus drivers, so the city delayed the bidding process until a state legislature vote on a law that would reinstate the protections, which were stripped in 2013.
About a dozen Boston Public Schools bus routes were unstaffed Monday morning, leaving 400 students stranded. The bus contractor dispatched supervisors to drive buses Tuesday morning, “due to a continued shortage of union drivers willing to work,” but was able to cover all routes. The no-shows are related to a labor dispute that led to a strike last October.
Teamsters Local 174, which represents more than 450 school bus drivers in Seattle, had said it was prepared to strike since mid-February. On Saturday, the union ratifies a new contract with First Student.
After walking off the job on Tuesday, the approximately 300 drivers have returned to work and yellow bus service has resumed for Boston Public Schools. The union that represents the drivers says they agreed to return to work after the contractor that serves the district agreed to meet to discuss driver grievances.
The drivers, who serve Boston Public Schools, are members of United Steelworkers of America Local 8751, and officials for the district say the strike appears to be connected to the union’s opposition to changes underway from the district’s contractor, Veolia Transportation. The strike impacts nearly half of the 33,000 students who receive yellow bus service.
Bomb threats. A bus stalling on train tracks. Even a spider outbreak? A veteran transportation director discusses the challenges and the excitement of a career in the school bus industry — along with some fascinating anecdotes.
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