(BALTIMORE) – Baltimore school bus drivers and attendants have reached a $1.25 million wage settlement with their employer, Durham School Services, the transportation contractor for Baltimore City Public Schools. The settlement covers damages for 366 class members over unpaid wages dating back to 2010.
“We work hard and don’t make a lot of money to begin with. For many of us, the pay we didn’t receive was the difference between being able to pay the electric bill and having food on the table for our families. We are glad to finally win back the pay that was stolen from us,” said Martin Fox, a Durham school bus driver.
“Teamsters are proud to stand with these workers and help them recover the wages they worked for and were owed,” said Sean Cedenio, principal officer of Teamsters Local 570 in Baltimore.
This is not the first time Durham School Services has settled over unpaid wages. In 2012, Durham settled a statewide class action lawsuit with school bus workers in California. The workers won a $7 million back pay award for unpaid wages.
The U.S. District Court preliminarily approved the $1.25 million settlement and a hearing by a judge is scheduled for April 4.
The settlement stems from a class action lawsuit filed in March 2013 bringing claims to recover wages owed by Durham. The lawsuit covered hours spent on important pre- and post-trip inspections of the buses, which ensure the safety of the buses that transport children to school. The suit also included time workers spent fueling and cleaning the buses, as well as time spent in initial training, for which they claimed they were not paid. The lawsuit also alleged that the company either failed to pay workers for all overtime, or failed to pay overtime in a timely manner.
Durham School Services is the second-largest school bus company in the United States and a subsidiary of National Express Group PLC (NEX: LN), a United Kingdom-based multinational transportation company.
Teamsters Local 570 is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.