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Plum School board OKs bus workers pact

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Plum School District and its transportation union have a new contract.

The Plum School Board voted 8-0 last week to accept a three-year pact 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.

Board member Tom McGough was not in attendance.

District officials said the terms represented the district's final offer.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1595 that represents 61 bus drivers, mechanics and aides voted 26-22 earlier this month to accept the three-year contract that runs retroactively from Aug. 1, 2012 through July 31, 2015, according to union President Donna Meanor.

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

Following the union's vote, Meanor said despite the wage cut, the contract acceptance has a few benefits for members.

“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 and received a bid from First Student of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Board President Andrew Drake said members would have considered outsourcing if the union rejected the district's final offer.

The board during last week's meeting also voted to award a contract for $55,082.10 to Palumbo Landscaping of Penn Hills for the development of a sports field at the new Pivik Elementary.

Officials plan to develop a portion of flat ground behind the school into a practice field for various sports and activities.

Dennis Russo told board members he would donate his time to oversee the field development.

Russo managed the Pivik Elementary School construction project and is the district's representative for the demolition of Adlai Stevenson Elementary and the construction of the new Holiday Park Elementary.

The low bidder (Palumbo) wants to start immediately to seed the field as fast as possible, Russo said.

In addition to seeding, the project is to include grading and erecting fencing.

Board member Sal Colella wanted deadlines for the field work.

Russo said the deadline for completion of the field is Aug. 12 so that it is ready for the start of the 2013-14 school year.

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

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