Kansas Central School Bus
Drivers and monitors at Kansas Central School Bus have joined Local 696 in Topeka, Kansas. The school bus workers provide transportation for students attending Topeka Public Schools.
“Congratulations to our newest members, who chose decisively and overwhelmingly to join the movement of school bus workers all across our state who are working to improve wages and working conditions through the power of a Teamster contract,” said Michael Scribner, President of Local 696. “We look forward to collective bargaining.”
The newest workers are now covered under the North American Central National Master Agreement, which covers all Teamsters employed by the company, and they will soon begin the process of negotiating a local supplemental agreement.
“It feels great to be a Teamster,” said Candy Stodden, a driver at Kansas Central who played a critical role during the organizing campaign. “I was a member of Local 50 in Waterloo, Illinois when I first started driving a school bus. I look forward to the consistency and protections that a union contract will provide.”
On July 19, 39 school bus drivers from First Student of Westborough, Mass. voted to join Local 170.
Organizer Shawn Stevens and Business Agent Jim Marks worked with the drivers to successfully organize the bus yard under the direction and support of Local 170 Secretary-Treasurer Shannon George.
“It was a team effort by all involved,” George said.
The victory is part of a growing movement of school bus drivers and monitors in central Massachusetts who are organizing to get the representation and benefits associated with the union.
Michaela Voutas is a driver at the Westborough yard who worked very closely with Stevens and Marks to ensure that the campaign was a success.
“I have wanted a union at this location for several years,” Voutas said. “We need higher pay rates, equality across the board, good health insurance, equipment that works safely; these are just a few of the things that need to change.”
Local 320 successfully organized two new bargaining units: Zumbrota Public Works and Tri-County Probation. The Zumbrota workers provide wastewater treatment and a number of other vital services to the City of Zumbrota, Minn. The Tri-County Probation Officers provide supervision and rehabilitation for criminal defendants for Norman, Polk and Red Lake counties in Northwestern Minnesota.
“Congratulations to our newest members, who demonstrated an extraordinary level of determination, solidarity and courage during this organizing campaign,” said Brian Aldes, Local 320 Secretary-Treasurer. “We look forward to negotiating contracts for these public servants that reflect the vital role that they play in their communities.”
The public works and wastewater workers for Zumbrota are currently in the process of negotiating their first contract, and decided to join the Teamsters to preserve their working conditions.
Zumbrota Public Works voted unanimously to join Local 320. All but one of the Tri-County Probation Officers who participated in the election voted in favor of Teamster representation, in spite of the fact that the employer was able to add more workers to the group in an attempt to dilute the vote.
Neither of these bargaining units experienced the benefit of union membership prior to organizing with the Teamsters.
“Almost a year after the Janus decision, workers understand there is power in a union,” said Local 320 Organizer Claire Thiele. “Workers also know their ability to improve their retirement is better with a union than without.”
A group of 13 office clerical staff working for DHL Seattle and Sea-Tac voted recently to become members of Local 174. The couriers, ramp workers, and part-time loaders and unloaders at these locations are already Teamsters, so the addition of the clerical staff makes these facilities wall-to-wall Teamster shops.
Current DHL Teamsters at these locations are covered by the National Master DHL Agreement, which covers more than 2,800 Teamsters nationwide, as well as the Local 174 Rider Agreement.
Now that the Seattle and Sea-Tac clerical workers have joined Local 174, negotiations will commence to add them to these agreements.
The company committed an unfair labor practice during the campaign by suddenly giving workers a raise as soon as the organizing drive became public.
Prior to the raise, workers had been under a wage freeze for years. Despite this, and with plenty of help and support from their Teamster co-workers like driver Jeff Fecteau, the office clericals spoke clearly when they voted unanimously to join Local 174.
“We are proud to welcome these new members into our local union, and we thank them for their trust as they work to build a stronger future,” said Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “For years they have been watching their co-workers reap the benefits of one of the strongest union contracts in the country, and now they will have the opportunity to participate in that as well. We look forward to demonstrating the value of being a Teamster.”