Press Release

Contract reached, First Student bus strike averted

“…today’s contract agreement, union workers were able to secure a four year contract that provides a fair wage increase and an increase in guaranteed hours.”
Photo for Contract reached, First Student bus strike averted

Published on November 1, 2022

The following is a press release and not an Uprise RI-written news story.

SEIU 1199 New England bus drivers, monitors and aides announced a tentative contract agreement with their employer, First Student, thereby averting an open strike planned for November 2 at 5:30AM. Workers announced the intent to strike after contract negotiations stalled after the 275 employees who work in the Lincoln, West Warwick and Cranston bus yards were unable to reach an agreement that gave workers fair hours and economic self-sufficiency. 

In today’s contract agreement, union workers were able to secure a four year contract that provides a fair wage increase and an increase in guaranteed hours. Now that a tentative agreement has been reached, the full membership of SEIU 1199NE bus drivers, monitors and aides will vote to ratify the contract, at which time more details will be available. 

“I’ve been a school bus driver for 13 years and many of the kids I transport have special physical and behavioral needs that require special accommodations and increased attention,” said Mike McDermott, a bus driver at the Metro yard in Cranston, pictured above. “We are happy that First Student was finally willing to come to the table with proposals that will help us better take care of our families and do our jobs. Even before the pandemic, First Student could not recruit bus drivers, monitors to do this work and we are hopeful that better hours and pay will go a long way in attracting more workers to the field. At the end of the day, it’s our students who benefit most.”

See: First Student bus drivers and workers announce open strike beginning Nov. 2

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