Plum School Board, bus workers remain at odds
The Plum School Board and the district's transportation union continue to be at odds over wages.
Board members Monday night voted 5-2 to reject a fact finder's recommendation that would have frozen wages in the first year and given increases of 25 cents an hour and 35 cents an hour in the second and third years, respectively, of the three-year proposal.
Board members Tom McGough and Loretta White voted in favor of the recommendations.
Board members Shane McMasters and John St. Leger did not attend the special meeting.
Bus drivers currently are paid $21.14 an hour.
Mechanics make $23.45 an hour, and bus aides are paid $13.06 an hour.
The Plum School District's proposal called for cuts that would equate to drivers making $16.91, mechanics making $19.22 and aides making $8.83 per hour in the first year.
In the second year, drivers would make $16.99 an hour, while mechanics would make $19.30 and aides would make $8.91.
In the third year, drivers would be paid $17.10 an hour, mechanics would make $19.41 and aides would make $9.02.
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1595 that represents the 61 bus drivers, mechanics and aides last week voted 55-4 to accept the fact finder's recommendations, said union President Donna Meanor.
Meanor said the union's most recent proposal, a five-year deal, called for a $1.25 an hour wage decrease in the first year, wage freezes in the second and third year, a 62-cent an hour increase in the fourth year and a 63-cent an hour increase in the fifth year.
“We didn't want to lose money,” Meanor said. “No one else (district employees) was asked to take a pay cut.”
Board member Joe Tommarello said the fact finder's proposal would cost the district about $200,000 more than it currently pays in wages.
“Are we going to cut more programs if we accept it?” Tommarello asked. “I want to negotiate with them.”
The 61 bus drivers, mechanics and bus aides are working under the terms of a five-year contract that expired July 31, 2012.
The two sides agreed to fact finding late last year after negotiations broke down.
District Solicitor Lee Price said district officials and union members plan to meet to discuss whether to conduct non-binding arbitration or go back to negotiating.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.