(NAPERVILLE, Ill.) – Teamsters Locals 777 and 179 drivers and monitors who work for First Student ratified contracts that contain significant gains in representation, pay and benefits. More than 600 drivers and monitors are covered by the two agreements, and they provide services for Naperville School Districts 131 and 204.
“These workers fought hard, stuck together and won,” said Local 777 President Jim Glimco. “School bus drivers from the Batavia First Student yard are now among some of the highest paid in all of the cities and towns throughout Chicago’s western suburbs.”
Local 179 President Tom Flynn echoed Glimco’s sentiments concerning the contract that was negotiated by Local 179.
“I don’t try to sell contracts,” Flynn said. “Our committee spoke to their coworkers and fought hard for what they wanted at the bargaining table. That’s why this contract was ratified by more than 80 percent of our members.”
Both contracts include free vision coverage, an increased 401K match and hourly pay increases that go as high as $23.50 for drivers and $16.25 for monitors, depending on years of service. The contracts also include pay raises for extra routes, plus safety bonuses and other bonus incentives.
Tani Benson is a driver and union steward at the Batavia First Student yard. She has been a Teamster bus driver for nine years.
“We increased the penalty for payroll errors in our contract – this way we can have greater accountability and a faster turnaround time for getting these problems corrected,” Benson said.
“If First Student workers in Illinois want to have a fair days wage, respect and representation, they need to join our movement and fight for a Teamster contract!”
Claudius Young is a Local 179 Steward who has been a driver at the Naperville yard for 11 years.
“We got increases across the board for drivers and monitors with our new contract,” Young said. “Every First Student worker in Illinois should join the Teamsters. That way we can make sure we have a voice in regards to what’s going on in our workplaces, and try and make things better for everyone.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters 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.