By Matt Tomsic
Published April 17, 2012
Durham School Services employs the 165 drivers and monitors, and the private company took over the district’s bus operations last year.
“This is the start of a new beginning for all of us,” said Annette Hill, a driver for the district, in a news release. “Everyone is excited and glad that this victory belongs to us.”
With union representation, the bus drivers have filed two unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Durham.
The first charge, filed on April 3, said Durham School Services was harassing employees because of their union activity. The second charge, filed Thursday, said the company coerced employees and interfered with their labor rights by posting police officers at the doors during a company meeting.
The NLRB will investigate the charges and issue a complaint if it finds the charges have merit.
Durham School Services wasn’t available for comment.
"Even though this transportation service has been outsourced and most all of the drivers are employed by Durham, the district wishes the drivers well in their decision," said district Superintendant Joe Pye in a statement.
The vote to unionize is part of a national campaign to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country, according to a news release from the Teamsters union. The push, called Drive Up Standards, began in 2006, and more than 34,000 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have joined the Teamsters union.