STA School Bus Drivers Ratify Contract
Student Transportation of America (STA) drivers in San Jose, Calif., recently ratified their first Teamster contract. The members of Teamsters Local 287 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a five-year contract providing for a 12 percent wage increase, sick leave and major improvements to the medical plan, among other gains.
“We are proud of this contract and the difference it will make in the lives of our members,” said Bob Blanchet, President of Local 287. “We made a lot of improvements in this contract, which was reflected in a strong vote in favor of the agreement.”
Kelli Watson, a driver, has seen the change in her workplace after she and her coworkers joined the Teamsters in November 2011.
“The respect around the office is tremendously different, like it always should have been but never was, and that was the most important thing to us drivers,” Watson said. “It’s a whole different atmosphere.”
Watson, a 12-year driver, took part in the negotiating committee for the contract.
“This is a really good contract, especially for a first contract. We have more bereavement days, more affordable health insurance, better pay, sick days and get to keep our park-outs,” Watson said.
Recognizing the importance of voting not only for a contract, but against initiatives that hurt workers, the STA drivers have all registered to vote to defeat California’s Proposition 32, on the November ballot.