NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — About 50 school bus monitors working for Niagara Falls Coach Lines have voted to join a local union.

The final margin was 41-2 in favor of joining Teamsters Local 264.

Wages were among the biggest concerns for the school bus monitors: The workers currently get minimum wage with no benefits, and after watching the drivers at their company get wage raises consistently under a Teamster contract, they decided to reach out to the union.

Leonard Averhart is a monitor who has been with the company since October. After seeing the benefits the drivers received, and hearing that over the years his coworkers had expressed interest in joining the union, he decided to get involved in the organizing drive.

“At first, we had a small committee, but we grew quickly,” Averhart said. “We kept having meetings, and as we got larger, I could see that we were getting more hopeful and excited, and we had more momentum. The struggle has made us stronger, and it made us bond more as a group.”   

“We’re extremely excited to welcome our newest members from Niagara Falls Coach Lines,” said Brian Dickman, president and principal officer of Teamsters Local 264. “They fought really hard, and we are going to make sure that we get them the best contract possible.”

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