Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Bus Strike To Begin Monday, Oct. 1


A bus drivers’ strike announced today means thousands of Westport students will be scrambling for rides to school tomorrow morning.

Westport school bus drivers rejected a contract agreed on by management and the drivers’ union leaders, Superintendent Elliott Landon informed parents and students today in an email.

Landon did not say whether negotiations continue; as a result, it is not clear for how long the strike will persist. He also did not divulge any details on the negotiations that occurred last week or what the drivers opposed.

An anonymous driver who plans to participate in the strike, should the bargaining parties fail to come to a settlement, explained some of the demands and complaints the drivers have made.

“We’re the bottom of the barrel,” the driver said about the Westport Dattco drivers’ status.

According to the driver, employees for the Westport branch of Dattco get paid far less than employees in neighboring towns. The driver said that Westport Dattco drivers get paid an average starting salary of about $16 an hour, versus around $23 to $26 an hour in towns like New Canaan.

Dattco has not commented since the strike was announced. In a press release dated Sept. 27, Dattco Chief Operating Officer Cliff Gibson said, ““Our highest priority is ensuring that Westport school children have safe and reliable transportation to and from school each and every day.”

The driver says that in addition to lower pay, they were offered fewer hours. Overall, he said the drivers are looking for fair wages, more hours, holiday pay, and the ability to do charter trips, such as driving for field trips or athletic games.

In an attempt to try to achieve these demands, the driver says they have arranged for a picket line outside the Dattco offices starting Monday morning.

“We want them to hear us loud and clear,” the driver said. “Show that you respect your employees, or everybody loses.”

Landon informed Inklings earlier this week that absences due to transportation issues will not be excused.

“I see no reason that anybody shouldn’t be able to get to school,” Landon said. “We will treat it like a normal school day.”

According to athletic director Marty Lisevick, athletic teams will still play away games as the school has already chartered buses.

Bus Strike To Begin Monday, Oct. 1


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ellie Gavin, Staff Writer
Most people would not compare journalism to sailing. At first glance, the two activities could not be less similar: one involves being in a boat, while the other involves thinking of creative headlines. For Ellie Gavin ’14, however, it’s a different story. Gavin has been sailing for as long as she can remember, she tells me one sunny afternoon in August. When Gavin speaks, her hands mirror the bright tone of her voice, with animated gesticulations aplenty. Gavin explains that she loves the decision-making aspect of sailing, and anticipates bringing some of these skills to Inklings. Like any good journalist, Gavin has an angle – she hopes to expose the truth and make people think, and she’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. When I ask her if she’s nervous about being a brand-new member of Inklings, she pauses for the first time in our conversation. “A few years ago, I was sailing, nowhere near land, and there was a big storm,” Gavin said. “To get through something scary, the worst thing you can do is back down. Keep doing what you’d be doing if you were in a more comfortable situation.” Be it a storm or a tough interview, Gavin’s going to keep on sailing.

Comments (1)

All Inklings News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    TatianaSep 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I believe what they were trying to offer use was unfair.Im also a single parent,with three children to provide for.When Dattco made the decision to make us the offer that they did,I don’t believe they took into consideration the rising cost of food,clothing,gas,and just about everything else that’s going on in this economy. I’M struggle to provide for my family with what it is I do make for them,and what they were offering wasn’t going to make it much easier on me.As well as my coworkers.While there able to sleep at night without having to worry about how the bills are going to get paid,or how there going to put food on there tables,or clothes and shoes on there kids backs and feet;Im up half the time trying to figure out how I’m going to get these things taken care of in my house hold.