School bus monitors working for Niagara Falls Coach Lines have voted to ratify their first contract with Teamsters Local 264. The final margin was 36-2 in favor of implementing the new collective bargaining agreement.
“I’m really proud of all the work that the negotiating committee put forward to negotiate this contract,” said Local 264 Recording Secretary and Business Agent Darrin C. Ziemba. “The workers were responsible for the success of this ratification. They did all the legwork.”
The process took roughly seven months from the beginning of negotiations up until the ratification vote. Wages were among the biggest concerns for the school bus monitors prior to voting overwhelmingly to join the Teamsters back in April, and their resilience during negotiations paid off: workers will now get anywhere from $1.40 to $1.65 an hour in raises.
In addition to the wage increases, the bus monitors also now have paid holidays, paid snow days, paid personal days and life insurance. The contract expires on July 31, to coincide with the contract covering the Local 264 drivers who work at the same location.
Deborah Williams is a bus monitor that served on the negotiating committee. This was her first time negotiating a union contract.
“I’ve been with this company for almost six years and I never got a raise until minimum wage went up,” Williams said. “We all wanted to see this get ratified because before the union, we had nothing. Winning this contract feels like winning the lottery. It’s just a wonderful experience.”