Academy Bus Drivers Win 16-23 Percent Wage Hikes in New Pact
June 14, 2007
After a tough round of negotiations with Academy Bus Tours, a transportation company in New Jersey, RWDSU Local 108 members won separate three-year contracts for drivers at the Tri-State, Rutgers and Middlesex bus terminals. The agreements cover 160 workers. They protect workersâ€™ benefits and guarantees wage hikes of 16 to 23 percent over the term of the agreements.
Local 108 President Charles Hall, Jr. said a lot of tough issues were brought to the bargaining table during these negotiations. Overtime pay was a major stumbling block. Last year, the 100 Academy Bus drivers who service Hudson and Bergen Counties voted to authorize a strike after management refused to agree to negotiate decent overtime pay. This time management finally agreed to a provision for premium pay similar to a clause in last yearâ€™s contract.
â€śWe also had to deal with maintaining our medical benefits and capping employee contributions, summer work, and continuing to bring our wages up to what professional drivers should earn,â€ť said Bus Driver Stuart Ediger.
Academy Bus workers also negotiated a third week of vacation for workers with seven years on the job, improved pension contributions, and a â€śmaintenance of benefitsâ€ť clause guaranteeing that the employer maintains the employeesâ€™ level of medical benefits.