A tentative agreement was reached last night between Teamsters Local 251 and Ocean State Transit, a subsidiary of Student Transportation of America (STA). A strike vote had been taken last week.
“Our coworkers will be very happy with this tentative agreement,” said Ocean State Transit Bus Driver Charlene Gomes. “They were willing to strike to get a fair deal and the company knew it.”
“Our rank-and-file committee members were invaluable in these negotiations; they knew the business inside and out and were able to prioritize the needs of the workers,” said Nick Williams, Local 251 Business Agent.
The group of 105 school bus drivers voted to join the Teamsters in May 2019. Last month 95 monitors and aides also joined the union. A date will be set soon for a ratification vote.
“We believe this tentative agreement recognizes the commitment the workers have to safely transporting our children every day,” said Local 251 Principal Officer Matthew Taibi. “While we have a few minor details to work out, we anticipate that the workers will ratify this recommended tentative agreement, averting a strike. We appreciate the community support. We believe it was a big reason we were finally able to break through the last remaining issues and get a deal.
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We recently agreed on a new contract with STA/Ocean State in South Kingstown and we look forward to discussions for a new agreement in Coventry. We would like to thank the Teamsters Passenger Transportation Division for their support, especially from a national perspective. STA is the second largest school transportation company in the country, with contracts at many other Teamsters locals.”
Teamsters Local 251 represents workers in a wide variety of industries throughout Rhode Island. For more information, go to https://teamsterslocal251.org/