School bus drivers and monitors employed by First Student, Inc. voted overwhelmingly to ratify their newest national master agreement with the company. The contract covers over 20,000 Teamsters at the company through March of 2021.
“Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make this happen,” said IBT Passenger Transportation Director Rick Middleton. “Negotiations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the committee reached a deal with the company to address as many issues as we could under the circumstances. When we begin bargaining on a five-year successor agreement next year, negotiations will cover only long-term benefits and other articles that were not modified by this agreement.”
This contract includes a number of significant improvements, including protections against the use of audio or video equipment by management to target members for discipline or discharge, additional safety obligations on the part of the company and improved transfer rights in the event that a member moves to another location. Perhaps most notably, the committee reached an agreement with the company to create a new job classification for non-CDL drivers, which restricts what non-CDL work can be performed and gives preferences to full CDL operators. This provision will protect members’ jobs from being outsourced to ride-share companies and provide a pathway for First Student members to attain a CDL.