(SUDBURY, Mass.) – First Student drivers in Sudbury, Mass. represented by Teamsters Local 170 have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first collective bargaining agreement.
“These workers heard about the benefits of Teamster membership at First Student, they went through the process of organizing, and their hard work at the negotiating table paid off,” Local 170 Secretary-Treasurer Shannon George said. “I’d like to thank Business Agents Jim Marks and Ken Bergen for all of their hard work on negotiating this agreement.”
The contract includes a number of substantial benefits, including initial wage increases of at least 7.6 percent and a total wage increase of 18.8 percent over the lifetime of the contract. It also includes an increase in the percentage of health care costs covered by the company, an increase in the minimum guaranteed paid hours per day and an increase in both holidays and company buyback of sick time.
Paulette Civitarese has been a driver at First Student Sudbury, Mass. since 1999. She said that she learned a lot during the process and she has a lot of respect for her fellow Teamsters.
“I’ve never been in a union; I didn’t know what to expect, but just sitting with them in negotiations, it stuck out in my mind that these are great, passionate, powerful members,” Civitarese said. “This contract is very strong and it will help us retain drivers. I would love to do this again, only now with the knowledge I have gained from these negotiations.”
International Vice President Rick Middleton added his congratulations to the Teamster members.
“On behalf of the Teamsters Passenger Transportation Division and the more than 50,000 members we represent, I want congratulate Local 170 and its committed members for negotiating such a strong contract,” Middleton said. “We continue to grow our membership and our power nationwide because of the industry-leading contracts we negotiate for our members.”
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.