New York, NY – More than 300 striking bus drivers, monitors and maintenance people working for Baumann & Sons in Nassau
County have begun going back to work this week, effectively ending a 10-day strike that began after talks involving pay, 401(k) contributions and sick time broke down.
“From the beginning, TWU Local 252 sought a speedy resolution to this dispute so our members could continue to serve our communities and provide safe transportation to the children in the affected districts,” TWU Local 252 President Debra A. Hagan said in a statement released Thursday morning. “It’s unfortunate that we had to stand up and take action against a corporate bully who has no regard for the working men and women of Long Island.”
The strike impacted some 20,000 Nassau County school kids and resulted in the Rockville Centre School Board terminating its contract with Baumann & Sons.
“Baumann demonstrated a complete lack of concern for its workers during this dispute and paid a heavy price: one of the districts cancelled its contract with Baumann and assigned the work to another company whose employees also are represented by Local 252,” Hagan added.
The new deal ending Local 252’s decisive job action, reportedly includes some much sought after gains for workers. TWU Local 252’s rank & file members are expected to vote on the agreement as early as Friday.
“Now that we have won gains on our top priorities, with a contract offer including a new guaranteed week and higher pay for chartered school trips, our members at Baumann & Sons have begun to return to work,” Hagan said. “Local 252 will bring Baumann’s latest offer to the membership Friday. The offer also includes raises, gains in sick leave and an increase in the employer’s 401k contribution.”
Prior to this week’s agreement, company President Ronald Bauman had accused TWU Local 252 with being “unreasonable.”
“We are disappointed by the union’s unreasonable position throughout bargaining,” Baumann said in a statement. “The company remains committed to completing the work that it can for the school districts it can service with the many employees who have crossed the picket line to help the company bring the children to school.”
That, however, did not dissuade the Rockville Centre School Board from voting 5-0 to terminate its contract with Baumann & Sons prior to this week’s agreement.
At the time, the school board charged Baumann & Sons with “substantially breaching its contractual obligations to the school district, including but not limited to failure to supply sufficient school buses and/or workers to perform the student transportation services of the contract.”