An agreement has been reached with Teamsters Local 170 and the Durham Bus Company, averting a strike that would have affected thousands of school children in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Mayor Joseph M. Petty announced Monday night that Teamsters Local 170 Secretary-Treasurer Shannon George reached a five-year agreement with the bus company, with the goal of ratification by the union members.
"I want to thank both Shannon George and the management Durham Bus Company for coming back to the table and resolving their differences," said Petty. "This is a good contract for the bus drivers and makes sure that everyone is focused on the school year ahead. I know a lot of parents are breathing a little easier tonight and so am I."
Talks between the union and the bus company had broken down over the weekend and drivers had threatened to strike Monday — the first day of school.
Petty worked with George to allow the first day of school to commence without disruption and asked the union and the bus company to resume negotiations.
"These bus drivers of Local 170 care about our kids," said Mayor Petty. "They want to work and they want to ensure our students arrive at school safely."
The Teamster members transport an estimated 12,000 Worcester Public School students, including over 1,000 special needs students. The bus drivers had been working without a contract since December 2016.