(WASHINGTON) – School bus drivers with First Student in Pueblo West, Rye, Mesa and Beulah, Colo., have voted to become members of Teamsters Local 455 in Denver. The 67 drivers are looking forward to having a say on the job and improved working conditions.
“We’ve lost a lot,” said Fran Martin-Barnhart, a driver. “Our hours have been cut, our wages went down and our medical insurance costs a lot more. We’re looking to keep what we have while improving on it. We do a lot in our jobs and we’re happy to have representation to protect us.”
“As Teamsters, we can negotiate something in writing that will be beneficial to us and have language to protect us,” said Boyd Harding, a driver. “Being able to have a voice in what our future holds is important.”
The organizing committee of workers worked hard together throughout the campaign, rallying support behind their successful effort to gain Teamster representation.
“The workers did a great job, and the assistance of the International Union was instrumental in the success of this campaign,” said Steven P. Vairma, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 455 and President of Teamsters Joint Council 3.
The victory is the latest in an effort to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country. Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry.
Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 30,500 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.
For information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to www.schoolbusworkersunited.org.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.