(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is honoring school bus workers—including the more than 75,000 Teamster school bus workers—for their dedication to safety and service during National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 20-24.
The Teamsters Union recognizes school bus drivers, monitors and mechanics for their critical role as front-line advocates for child safety.
“We need to honor our valued school bus workers every day of the year, not just during this week. We need to see a commitment to safety from all contractors doing the business of transporting our children,” said Rick Middleton, Teamsters International Vice President and Chair of the Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign to raise safety and service standards in the school bus industry.
As a leading advocate for workers in the school bus industry, the Teamsters Union actively promotes safety through negotiating contracts with school bus companies that contain high safety standards.
A national master agreement between the Teamsters and First Student, the largest private student transportation provider in the U.S., provides drivers with the “right to refuse” to drive an unsafe bus. This agreement covers more than 21,000 school bus workers.
In contrast, many nonunion school bus workers who speak up for safe buses do so at risk to their livelihoods and their families. High turnover plagues the nonunion, low-wage school bus industry.
“Without the protection of a union contract, school bus workers may fear discipline or termination for standing up to an employer over safety concerns. There is no question that the best way for school bus workers to protect children and hold their employers accountable to safety is through a Teamster contract,” Middleton said.
The Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry began in 2006. Since then, more than 37,000 North American school bus and transit workers have formed a union with the Teamsters to raise their standards.
For more information on Drive Up Standards, visit www.driveupstandards.org.
To arrange an interview with a local Teamster school bus worker, please send your media inquiry to [email protected].
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.