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(JOLIET, Ill.) – More than 200 school bus drivers and monitors at First Student have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their most recent collective bargaining agreement with the company. The workers provide student transportation for thousands of children in Will County, Ill.
“These workers were ready to go on strike, but fortunately, it didn’t come to that,” said Tom Flynn, Teamsters Local 179 President. “We were able to get these men and women the wages and benefits they deserve without interrupting service. Congratulations to these workers for acting courageously and sticking together.”
The new supplemental agreement contains a number of significant improvements, including improved health care benefits, increased safety bonuses and higher pay for charter trips. Most notably, it contains significant wage increases – as high as 20 percent, effective immediately.
Chris Hadamik has been a First Student driver for over 20 years and she served on the negotiating committee.
“We got this contract because people banded together as union members,” Hadamik said. “Without the union, we wouldn’t have any of the stuff that we have now. The union will be there to back you no matter what. If you work at First Student and you’re not in the Teamsters, unionize now!”
Teamsters Local 179 represents over 3,000 members throughout Northern Illinois in construction, transportation, and a wide variety of other industries. For more information, go to https://www.teamsters179.org/.