DeKalb First Student Bus Drivers Vote in Favor of Becoming Members of Teamsters Local 330
FIRST STUDENT WORKERS IN ILLINOIS VOTE TO JOIN TEAMSTERS
School Bus Drivers and Monitors Seek Respect and Fairness in the Workplace
First Student school bus drivers and monitors in DeKalb, Illinois have voted to join Teamsters Local 330, gaining the 94-member unit a true voice in the workplace.
“By voting, we did an important thing because we should all have rights at work; we should all have a decent, living wage and health care,” said Bill Nelson, a driver with First Student in DeKalb. “It was fine to see everyone stand up to have a union.”
“I’d like some retirement security, better safety and better wages. Our mood is upbeat and we’re ready for the next step,” said Leah Henderson, a seven-year driver who volunteered to help other school bus workers across the country organize as Teamsters, even before the election at her First Student location in DeKalb.
Now that they’ve joined the Teamsters, according to Dominic Romanazzi, President of Local 330, the next step for these workers will involve contract negotiations.
“This is an important victory for the DeKalb workers and the Teamsters’ school bus worker campaign as a whole. We look forward to working with our newly organized members, as we seek to secure a strong contract to improve wages and working conditions across the board,” Romanazzi said.
“This is a very committed group of workers, who were determined to make a positive difference in their working conditions by joining the Teamsters. They are a fine example of how much can be accomplished when workers stand united and strong,” said John T. Coli, International Union Vice President and President of Joint Council 25.
This victory is the latest in an effort to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country. Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 15,300 workers have become Teamsters. Local 330 has organized more than 350 school bus workers since the beginning of 2009, including an important victory for 260 Durham School Services workers in the Elgin area.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada.