December 10, 2014
By Stephanie West
South Easton, Massachusetts – Abington Massachusetts school bus workers have voted to join Teamsters Local 653. The workers reached out to Teamsters Local 653 seeking a strong voice in regard to work rules and fair pay.
These employees of First Student bus company will be covered by the Teamsters' master agreement with First Student. The national contract covers more than 21,000 Teamsters who work at First Student in the United States. Economics and individual gains at the Abington First Student location will be negotiated by Teamsters Local 653.
This group of drivers and monitors, transport children in the Rockland, Holbrook and Weymouth school districts.
"We came together and decided to join the Teamsters to finally tackle issues and concerns we have been vocalizing to management for years," said Marion Yablonsky, a First Student school bus driver. "We decided it was time for a change. We decided we needed union representation."
This is the second organizing win for Teamsters Local 653 in the past three weeks. On Nov. 19, custodians, craftsmen and truck drivers with Brockton Public Schools in Brockton, Massachusetts, voted to join Teamsters Local 653.
"This campaign was about respect and consideration for the workers who transport our children on a daily basis," said Brian McElhinney, President of Teamsters Local 653. "We look forward to representing these members who provide an important service for our communities."
The Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign is a national initiative to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 37,800 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.