Pa. school bus employees pick up three-year deal

October 8, 2014

bus2SMART Transportation Division members employed by First Student, Inc., in Southeastern Pennsylvania have ratified a new three-year contract, retroactive to June 2014.

The contract covers SMART members of Local 172 at Darby, Pa., working in school bus operations until June 30, 2017. Of the 92 votes cast, 55 were in favor of the agreement.

Members will receive a three percent wage increase across the board for each year of the contract, for a total of nine percent. Driver’s rates of pay will be paid on all charter work and on all van runs with the addition of a meal allowance for charters.

Also provided in the contract is a provision increasing the number of allowable hours worked per week, up to 45. Management had previously discouraged employees from working more than 40 hours.

If during the year, an operator’s run hours are reduced by 20 percent or more, that operator will have the option to bump another driver from service whose hours exceed 40.

Also included in the contract is a provision that requires the company to immediately provide an employee with a debit card matching any payroll discrepancy of $50 or more. If a driver or monitor is displaced from a service run for any non-disciplinary reason, the driver will not suffer a loss in hourly pay.

“I thank Local 172 Vice Chairperson Denise Hall, Secretary Kathleen Sitongia and Chairperson Theresa Costantini for their dedication and hard work on this agreement,” Bus Vice President Calvin Studivant said.

Local 172 members chose the former United Transportation Union as their first collective bargaining representative approximately 10 years ago, when the property was unorganized.