Weatherford Democrat

Top News

March 1, 2013

Bus drivers open door to strike

School transportation contractor Durham ‘disappointed’ in strike authorization

By SALLY SEXTON

After months of negotiations between Weatherford bus drivers and monitors and Durham School Services, employees from the Weatherford branch took matters into their own hands Tuesday night, with 95 percent of workers voting to authorize a strike.

With the approval, the Weatherford group, which voted to unionize itself last May, now has the option to go on strike at any time.

“All we’re trying to do is address the inequities and to keep our good drivers. What we’ve asked for isn’t horrendous, they’re simple considerations,” driver Peggy Linden said. “We have no interest in destroying Durham or their reputation — that would be counterproductive.”

Contract negotiations between the two parties began in August, and a compromise looked promising, with Durham and Weatherford agreeing on about 45 of the 50 contract articles presented. But the discussions came to a stalemate when the topic of pay and days off were addressed, according to drivers.

“Anything to do with money, economics, guaranteed hours, that’s all been like pulling teeth,” Dan Linden said.

According to the Weatherford union’s last proposal, drivers had asked for a tiered pay scale, based on years of service, starting out at $11.25 an hour for drivers and $9.45 an hour for monitors. Drivers had also requested two paid holidays for the first year of service and two additional holidays after two years of service, as well as one paid day off given for perfect attendance.

“The union demands of a 15 percent wage increase, plus additional enhancements, continue to be completely unrealistic and leave us disappointed with recent progress,” Durham spokesperson Carina Noble said. “Durham School Services submitted its best and final offer to representatives from the Transport Workers Union on Feb. 11.

“This offer included an average wage increase of 2.5 percent for our employees, which is greater than that received by district employees.”

Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results