(MEDFORD, N.Y.) – After 14 months of negotiations between East End Bus Lines and Teamsters Local 1205, workers at the company have voted by more than a four-to-one margin to ratify their latest contract. The more than 300 school bus drivers, monitors, mechanics and related classifications provide services for the South Country and Longwood School Districts.
“This has been a battle since day one, but this victory continues our strong momentum at Local 1205 as we continue to organize and bring justice to workers,” said Local 1205 Vice President Gary Kumpa. “In the past year we have organized close to 500 new members in many different job classifications and occupations. We have all fought very hard in our campaigns, and we look forward to growing our local even more.”
The five-year agreement includes a number of substantial improvements – including wage increases ranging from 2 percent to 7 percent with guarantees of no less than 2 percent yearly for the next five years. East End Bus will also participate in the Teamsters’ 401(k) plan, and make contributions of 55 to 60 percent to the unions health care coverage, with contributions increasing as the contract matures.
Lori Rizzitano is an East End Bus Driver who serves as shop steward and member of the negotiating committee. She has worked at East End Bus Lines for nine years.
“All of the employees were tired of getting kicked around by East End Bus,” Rizzitano said. “Still, everyone held strong through three years, three NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] cases, negotiations and the vote to accept it. The whole thing was hard but in the end we got the justice we deserve – a Teamster contract, Teamster protection; we couldn’t ask for anything more.
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.