Weatherford Democrat

Front Page

July 24, 2013

Bus drivers, company ink new deals

First Student ready to begin first year of WISD transportation

By SALLY SEXTON

In the start of the new school year about a month away, students may not be the only ones starting off a “new” year.

Bus drivers within the Weatherford school district recently signed a five-year contract with First Student Inc. following two days of negotiations.

First Student Inc., hailed as the largest school bus operator in North America, was offered a five-year contract with Weatherford ISD during an April 16 trustee meeting. WISD had previously contracted with Durham School Services since the 1988-89 school year.

“When we met with [First Student], they told us we would have a contract before school started and they were true to their word,” said Lori Kitts, a driver and member of the Weatherford union negotiating team.

In May of 2012, Weatherford bus drivers and monitors voted to form a union, the first in Texas, and joined the Transport Workers Union of America after expressing displeasure over lack of benefits, pay, respect and others.

In March, the group voted to authorize the right to strike after months of failed negotiations for a new contract with Durham.

“We took experience from those negotiations with Durham into our talks with First Student,” Dan Linden, another driver and union negotiator, said. “We already had a lot of the legwork done, plus we have seen what some of the First Student contracts in other areas looked like.”

According to Kitts, many of the groups issues have been addressed by First Student, including more safety training, newer buses and an increase of $2 more per hour in wages for new hires.

“The First Student buses aren’t as aged,” Kitts said. “Some of their oldest ones are three to five years rather than 12. And more than half of the buses will also come with air conditioning.”

“Safety of the kids was one of our big priorities,” driver Nikki Norman said. “And with the extensive training that we’ve already been through, you can tell that First Student is very safety conscious.”

Text Only
Front Page
  • students.jpg Is opting out an option?

    One local parent has taken it upon herself to make her voice heard. Michelle Osterkamp, who has two children attending Mary Martin Elementary, began to research the opt-out method after talking with some of her teacher friends.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taste of Parker County logo.jpg Canyon West to host Taste of Parker County

    Prepare your taste buds, because the sixth annual Taste of Parker County is just a few short weeks away, and this year’s event has moved to a larger location to accommodate even more great eats and treats.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0420 one USAF riders IMG_7940.jpg Riding high

    Members of the United States Air Force Cycling Team, preparing to participate in the 12th annual Ride for Heroes in Aledo Saturday, met Friday with their supporters — members of the Bush Legacy Republican Women of Weatherford — for a pre-ride photo shoot at the historic courthouse followed by pre-ride carbo loading at Milano’s in Willow Park.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Aledo City Council Place 2 Candidates.jpg Q&A: Aledo City Council Place 2 candidates

    With some contested races in area school board and city council races on the May 10 ballots, the WD will provide a closer look at some of those through a question-and-answer feature with the candidates. Early voting begins April 28. Today we look at the candidates running for Place 2 on Aledo City Council.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • USAF photo.jpg Heroes riding for heroes

    The 12th annual Ride for Heroes bike ride this Saturday in Aledo will include some VIPs: members of the United States Air Force Cycling Team.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Little league makes pitch to city for lower user fees

    Weatherford Little League officials have asked the city to lower user fees to the league.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 one oregel, oscar.jpeg Trunk full of cash leads to trip to jail

    After a traffic stop late Monday night in Parker County, the Texas Department of Public Safety seized more than $54,000 from a man who, DPS says, admitted to trafficking in narcotics for people he met in Mexico.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • cigarette butts.jpg No butts about it, smoking ban nears

    Weatherford eating establishments have just over a week to get their no smoking signs in place and prepare for the no smoking ordinance enacted by the city council in February to go into effect.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Proposed change in city charter goes before W’ford voters next month

    Weatherford residents will have the chance to vote on a pair of charter amendments on Election Day May 10.

    April 16, 2014

  • IMG_7134.JPG Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

    Parker County peach growers won’t know for sure for a few more days, but as of Wednesday, one day after April temperatures plummeted into the low 30s, they’re predicting a good, even rosy, peach harvest for this year’s Parker County Peach Festival.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks