Bus drivers will ask Pa. Labor Relations Board for fact finde

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Bus drivers will ask Pa. Labor Relations Board for fact finde

Post  Nosmo King on Fri May 27, 2011 8:23 pm

Bus drivers will ask Pa. Labor Relations Board for fact finde

by Debra Erdley Tribune-Review
May 27, 201

Penn Hills school bus drivers, seeking to salvage contract negotiations with the district, will ask the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board to appoint a fact finder.

The Penn Hills School Board halted negotiations with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1552 earlier this month and voted to hire First Student, Inc., to provide busing, effective July 1, when the union's contract expires.

District officials said they needed the deal with First Student that calls for the company to purchase the district's buses, as well as provide transportation, to balance their budget in the face of a $3.9 million reduction in state subsidies.

Attorney Robert Eberle said he will file a petition on behalf of 75 union drivers asking the state Labor Relations Board to appoint a fact finder to review the school board's decision.

Eberle said the drivers, whose contract expires June 30, made "substantial concessions" in their efforts to negotiate a new contract. They believe their offer is competitive with First Student's if the purchase agreement is removed from the equation.
Should the state agree to appoint a fact finder, Eberle said that individual could recommend the district reconsider the union's offer. Such recommendations, however, are not binding.
"Everything would be voluntary," Eberle said.

School district officials were not available for comment this morning.

A spokeswoman for Cincinnati-based First Student previously said the company plans to offer furloughed drivers an opportunity to drive for it.

if the purchase agreement is removed from the equation.
That is an awful big IF to hang your hat on.
And more contention between the board and the community, remember that saving the transportation department will not bring back a single teacher.
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Re: Bus drivers will ask Pa. Labor Relations Board for fact finde

Post  HopefulInPh on Sat May 28, 2011 8:49 pm

Hey Nosmo King, I am going to be all over the place with this post, forgive me. Smile

I am trying to think of this from the position of what if, I alone had to make the cuts?

My first priority would be safety of the students, and Academics. #1, and #1.

Thinking academic, I would have to look at the Teachers\ Programs. And probably have cut as many as I could without harming the students.

I honestly believe this is exactly what was done, and was going to be done regardless of the Bus situation.

As far as busing, I would have to look at this also, but in keeping in mind my #1 and #1 priority. I would have first looked to see if there was another busing option that was as SAFE or SAFER then the busing we already have in place.

If there was not an option, I would not have looked any further into making a busing change. This is the discussion I would have liked to of heard before the change was made.

What I am now left with is wondering, is it true First Student buses has had 200 accidents in 2 years? Or how long will it take to get First Student in route to the schools if there was a need to evacuate? etc...

I know it was mentioned at a board meeting that a lot of our bus drivers are Penn Hills residents, and can have buses in route to the schools in less than 15 minutes if needed.

I guess my point is, I don't believe there was ever a cut Teachers vs Bus Divers issue, however many Teachers they were going to cut, will still be cut. Also, outsourcing the buses was only looked at from a financial point of view.

IMO, This is just another typical Penn Hills School Board tactic. Put one against the other so they can do whatever they like, without too many complaining.

Same tactic was used when there was support for building the New High School, but TONS of opposition to building the Mega Elementary Center. Remember? The only way to build the New High School, is to save money by building the Mega Elementary Center? No more opposition for the Mega Center.

If the Board was ever concerned with how many Teachers are in the Schools, why would they make the decision to build a Mega Elementary Center that will save money by? ......Cutting Teachers, Administrator, Nurses...etc.


And off topic from the School District....

How will firing the bus drivers affect the Community as a whole? How many Residents will be unemployed July 1st? Hope they can pay their local taxes, School Taxes, no more foreclosed homes, or no MORE homes being put up for sale......

I won't pretend to know the answer to this one, but I don't believe the School board gave enough thought to the whole picture concerning outsourcing the buses, unless they're not suppose to be concerned with Student's safety.


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Re: Bus drivers will ask Pa. Labor Relations Board for fact finde

Post  Nosmo King on Sat May 28, 2011 9:45 pm

What I am now left with is wondering, is it true First Student buses has had 200 accidents in 2 years?

To be clear, I am not connected with the school board or First Student. I know, no one said that, I just wanted it on the table.

The Penn Hills fleet is about 75 busses. First Student has around 27,000. Volume alone sugguests that the Frist Student accident rate would appear higher, but unless we have a true accounting of incidents for Penn Hills, we can not condem the 200 number. The math says that the rate is 0.007%.

Given that any accident involving schools is frightning,this number should calm some fears.

Thinking academic, I would have to look at the Teachers\ Programs. And probably have cut as many as I could without harming the students.
I honestly believe this is exactly what was done, and was going to be done regardless of the Bus situation.

I agree.

Looking at the state of the districts finances, I do not believe that the outsourcing is finished. I look for the board to cut both maintenance and food services in a few years.


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Re: Bus drivers will ask Pa. Labor Relations Board for fact finde

Post  HopefulInPh on Sat May 28, 2011 10:04 pm

Looking at the state of the districts finances, I do not believe that the outsourcing is finished. I look for the board to cut both maintenance and food services in a few years.

I am with you Nosmo, I believe that is the plan. Also, I believe it's been the plan for the last few years! Lets just watch the tactics used if there is opposition, it will definitely be to put something against something else.

My biggest problem with the board, is lack of honest communications with the public, my hope is that will soon change.
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