Bus Drivers’ Strike Averted
Buses will run tomorrow.
On the evening of Sun., Sept. 30, thanks to a government agency’s help, bus drivers agreed to drive tomorrow, working under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, originally set to expire at 12:01 a.m. on Mon., Oct. 1.
Earlier, the bus drivers had refused to ratify a contract agreed to by both their union and the bus company, Dattco. This would have meant a strike, beginning tomorrow morning and throwing Westport students and parents into a mad scramble for transportation.
Now the union and Dattco will resume negotiations in hopes of reaching a new agreement. The major issues debated regard wages, hours, and holiday pay, according to an anonymous bus driver interviewed after the initial strike warning was emailed to parents.
“Through the good efforts of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service [FMCS], Dattco management and the Union representing the bus drivers have agreed to a ‘cooling off’ period in their negotiations,” Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon said in an e-mail to parents. The FMCS, a federal agency responsible for mediating labor disputes, will work with both sides until an agreement is reached, according to Landon’s email.
The buses will follow their normal schedules. There is no timetable yet for when a new agreement will be reached.
This is a breaking news update and will be revised as further information is released.