Weatherford Democrat

Top News

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
Top News
  • 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

  • Biz Index 1.jpg Let's get physical

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Take a mind vacation

    For many of us, every day has some sort of stress associated with it. Whether it is something at home or at work, it seems like there are a million things stressing us out and making us feel overwhelmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • VETERANS’ CORNER: Veterans’ needs the target of recent discussions

    Ministers responsible for Veterans Affairs and officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States completed a series of meetings April 8-11 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., discussing the latest research, best practices and various areas of collaboration to address the growing needs of veterans.

    April 20, 2014

  • MILLSAP MATTERS: Reunion time approaches

    MILLSAP – For many people this is the time of year that reunions are held. In that light, Millsap alumni will be enjoying their annual school reunion on Saturday, April 26.

    April 20, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The fox and the hound, plus Max

    Almost without exception, most farms are protected to some degree by guard animals. Dogs and cats are most commonly used to defend against intruders and nuisance pests around the farmstead. In recent years with the proliferation of coyotes, many folks are using guard donkeys or llamas to protect their livestock.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Laws can’t be ignored

    Senator Harry Reid said, “We just can’t let people ignore the law.”

    April 20, 2014

  • 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

  • Grand jury indictments for April returned

    A Parker County grand jury on Thursday indicted a man accused of breaking into his neighbor’s home and threatening him with a BB gun before engaging in a brief standoff with deputies.

    April 19, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
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