The unique approach of Boston School Bus Union, Steelworkers Local 8751 offers a much needed new blueprint for building power within poor and working class communities. This particular union marks the spot where organized labor meets oppressed and marginalized people where they are. During my travels there, it was quite inspiring to see a local union work hand in hand with neighborhood youth against police brutality. It was quite encouraging to see the rank-and-file of the Boston school bus drivers work with parents and community members to organize against school closings and badly timed budget cuts to public education…..
After Morning Delays, BPS Bus Routes Staffed
Source: WBUR, August 26, 2014
All Boston Public Schools bus routes will be covered on normal schedules Tuesday afternoon for 3,500 students who need rides home from charter schools and special ed programs. Several hundred students were stranded at bus stops Monday and routes were delayed Tuesday morning amid ongoing contract negotiations between the bus drivers’ union and the company that employs them. …After about a dozen bus routes were left unstaffed Monday morning, leaving 400 students stranded, the school department had to scramble to ensure even more routes scheduled to run Tuesday morning were covered….
At rally, Walsh urged to support fired school bus drivers
Source: Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, February 2, 2014
At a fiery Dorchester rally backed by the state’s largest labor group, several speakers urged Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Saturday to push for reinstatement of four Boston school bus drivers fired in November after they were accused of instigating an illegal strike. Veolia Corp., which manages Boston’s school buses, fired the workers after most buses never drove off their lots on Oct. 8 and many of the 30,000 students who take school buses each morning were left without transportation. Union activists contend that Veolia locked the workers out of the bus yards, preventing them from driving after they tried to meet with company officials to hash out their grievances over pay, benefits, and other issues….
Boston School Bus Drivers Back Behind The Wheel After Strike
Source: Scott Neuman, NPR, Two-Way blog, October 9, 2013
Hundreds of Boston school bus drivers are back on the job Wednesday following one-day wildcat strike that sent parents scrambling to find a way to get their kids to and from classes.
The drivers’ union said Wednesday that it had agreed to return to work after the company contracted by the school to run bus services, Veolia Transportation Inc., agreed to a meeting with the union. About 600 drivers had walked off the job.
Judge denies back to work order for Boston bus drivers
Source: Josh Brogadir, NECN, October 8, 2013
Boston school bus drivers return to work for morning shift, status of afternoon shift remains unknown
Source: Garrett Quinn, masslive.com, October 9, 2013
Collective Bargaining Is Unexpected Hot Button Issue In Boston Mayoral Race
Source: Peter Kadzis, WGHB, October 8, 2013
A scramble across city as school drivers strike / Angry words fly; prospect unclear for resumption
Source: James Vaznis and John R. Ellement, Boston Globe, October 8, 2013
Boston school bus drivers went on strike Tuesday morning — with no advance warning to families — leaving thousands of children stranded at home or at bus stops as the city grappled with its first such strike in more than two decades. Drivers showed up before dawn, but most refused to board their buses to protest myriad grievances, from payroll problems to a new Web page that allows parents to track their children’s buses. Bus yard managers eventually ordered them off the four lots and locked the gates, as union members shouted back and forth, with police cruisers parked nearby. It remained unclear whether the drivers, who work for a private company contracted by the city, would return to their jobs Wednesday morning….
…Outside the Readville bus yard in Hyde Park Tuesday night, bus drivers cheered after they learned that a judge had denied the injunction against the strike. Steve Kirschbaum, chairman of the bus union’s grievance committee, said members are simply asking that its contract be honored by Veolia Corp., which oversees the bus fleet for the city. He characterized the situation as an “illegal lockout,” saying Veolia ordered drivers off its property under the threat of arrest. …
Largest Private-Sector Operator Veolia Transportation Contracts With Boston Public Schools
Source: Sylvia Arroyo, School Transportation News, April 16, 2013
Illinois-based company Veolia Transportation gained its first school contract with Boston Public Schools to manage operations and maintenance of the school district’s yellow bus fleet.
Company officials said the five-year contract begins in July and has multiple contact extension options. Before Veolia, BPS had a contract with First Student. Based in Lombard, Ill., Veolia Transportation is the largest private-sector operator of various modes of transit in North America, including bus, rail, paratransit, shuttle, and sedan and taxi services. BPS is Veolia’s first school district client….Veolia will manage all aspects of operations, including safety performance, training, hiring and management of employees and vehicle maintenance. All current school bus drivers will become Veolia employees, and the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement between the current operator and the bus drivers’ union, including salary and benefit packages, will remain in effect and be assumed by Veolia….