School bus Local 1741 ratifies new agreement

January 24, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — First Student school bus drivers here, represented by UTU Local 1741, have ratified a new wage and benefits agreement by a 72 percent majority.

“Our strategy was to keep negotiations limited to economics because the work rules in our contract are the standard by which most other school bus drivers measure their contracts — by any measure, one of the best contracts for school bus drivers in the country,” said General Chairperson Paul Stein. “Also, our health insurance benefits far exceed most San Francisco city workers.”

“Negotiators for the local were able to hold on to our health-insurance plan without premium increases,” Stein said. “We asked for wage increases for ourselves and a series of raises for the office staff and dispatchers that would bring them up to the level of the drivers. The increases we got for the staff was very nearly what was asked for, and was viewed by most as a victory.

“The unity of drivers and staff and the hard work of the members of the local committee who did the hands-on work of negotiations is a tribute to the abilities of working people willing to fight for what they deserve,” Stein said.