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Durham Smithfield Workers Ratify Contract with Teamsters Local 251

Durham Smithfield Ratification

Press Contact: Matt Taibi Phone: (401) 434-0454 Email:

First Agreement Comes After Practice Picket, Strike Vote

(SMITHFIELD, R.I.) – After a unanimous strike authorization and a “just practicing” demonstration, school bus drivers, monitors and aides at Durham School Services of Smithfield, R.I. ratified their first Teamster contract by a vote of 29-1 this week. The new agreement will be in effect for the next three and a half years.

“This first contract shows clearly the value of workers coming together to collectively bargain to improve their working conditions,” said Matthew Taibi, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 251. “School bus workers have been demanding fair treatment throughout the state. Additional public funding is still necessary to address the short staffing at this location and structural issues in the industry.”

The agreement provides strong job protections and overall economic improvements. These include retroactive six to seven percent wage increases (compared to wages when the workers first unionized) as well as an overall wage increase of 24 to 27 percent over the lifetime of the agreement. The agreement also includes a clause allowing wages to increase even further, provided that additional ARPA funding from the municipality for school bus workers is allocated prior to the implementation of a statewide prevailing wage law going into effect in 2023 at this location. The contract also includes an increase in guaranteed hours, bonus and retirement improvements, and more.

Teamsters Local 251 is based in East Providence, Rhode Island and represents over 6,300 workers in a wide variety of industries throughout Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. For more information go to