Share This Page

Plum school district, bus drivers agree to contract

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader
The Plum School District and the bus union agreed to a contract last week. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1595 includes drivers, mechanics and aides.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Plum Advance Leader
The Plum School District and the bus union agreed to a contract last week. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1595 includes drivers, mechanics and aides.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Plum Advance Leader
The Plum School District and the bus union agreed to a contract last week. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1595 includes drivers, mechanics and aides.

Plum School District's transportation union has approved the district's final contract offer.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1595 that represents 61 bus drivers, mechanics and aides voted 26-22 last week to accept the three-year proposal that calls for a wage freeze in the current year, a $4.23-cent-an-hour wage cut in the second year and an 8-cent-an-hour increase in the third year, according to union President Donna Meanor.

The Plum School Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at 7 p.m. April 16.

Bus drivers currently are paid $21.14 an hour.

Mechanics make $23.45 an hour, and bus aides are paid $13.06 an hour.

Meanor said the proposed contract would run retroactively from August 1, 2012 through July 31, 2015.

The employees have been working under the terms of a five-year contract that expired July 31, 2012.

Meanor said despite the wage cut, there are several positives from the union accepting the district's offer.

“Those of us who have health benefits keep them, we stay in the Public School Employees' Retirement System, and there is no outsourcing,” Meanor said.

The district had solicited proposals from private transportation companies. First Student of Cincinnati submitted a bid for the work.

“If we rejected it (the district's proposal), the board was going to vote (whether) to outsource to First Student,” Meanor said.

Board President Andrew Drake said if the union rejected the district's final offer, the negotiations would have been at an impasse and outsourcing would have been considered.

“We always said all along we had an option of going with an outside supplier,” Drake said.

Drake is ready to move forward.

“I am glad that we have settled the contract,” Drake said. “It is good for the district to have this behind us. We want to work with the bus drivers and employees to make sure we get the best service for the students.”

The school board earlier this year rejected 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, respectively, in the second and third years of the three-year proposal.

Board member Joe Tommarello said though he voted against the fact finder's recommendations because of the increased cost to the district, he opposed outsourcing or hiring a private company to handle the district's transportation.

Meanor said union members obtained more than 1,000 signatures on petitions indicating support of the district's transportation department.

“We got support from the taxpayers in the community,” Meanor said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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.