(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) – On Thursday July 26, Durham School Services drivers and monitors in Memphis, Tenn. voted overwhelmingly to ratify their newest contract with Teamsters Local 667. The new contract will set a higher standard for close to 600 workers who provide pupil transportation for Shelby County Schools.
“Our brothers and sisters at Durham do the difficult work that ensures our kids arrive on time and safe to school,” said Local 667 President James Jones. “This contract is a good step in making sure they get the respect that this vital work deserves.”
The victory didn’t come overnight – Jones launched the campaign to raise the standard at Durham of Memphis on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of this year. In addition to improving wages and benefits, the new contract adds holiday pay for Veterans Day and Presidents Day for all workers, along with July 4th for workers who work over the summer.
Denise Tinsdall, Felicia Walker, Jennifer Elliot and Lennette Beyah are Durham drivers who assisted with negotiating and ratifying the newest contract.
“I’m so excited with our new Teamster contract!” Tinsdall said. “We will now be guaranteed three paid days off this year and four days off every year after so that we can take care of ourselves and our families during the school year.”
“The new contract guarantees that everybody, drivers and monitors, gets one hour pay for extra stops,” Walker said.
“This was my first time sitting at the table to negotiate with the company,” said Elliot. “We stayed strong and got what we needed. I’m proud that we raised the four hour minimum pay guarantee to five hours; this will really help our brothers and sisters at Durham of Memphis.”
“This isn’t our first contract with Durham, but it is our best,” said Beyah. “I’m proud of the new contract. We got the monitors to 15 dollars an hour, and the drivers will top out at 24 dollars an hour. It is definitely a new day at Durham!”
Teamsters Local 667 represents workers in a wide variety of industries throughout Western Tennessee.