August 29, 2014

UTU seeks improvements in bus-driver training

By Vic Baffoni,
Vice President, Bus

Congratulations to officers and members of Local 1589, New Brunswick, N.J., on a new contract that includes improved wages and benefits.

The UTU International is working with members of Local 1697, employed by TNM&O Coaches in Texas, following the carrier’s sale to Greyhound. We intend to protect their assignments and seniority.

We are monitoring proposed revisions by the FMCSA of CDL testing standards, and new minimum standards for commercial learner’s permits (CLPs).

The revisions would require successful completion of the knowledge test before issuance of a CLP, and prohibit use of foreign language interpreters.

Applicants would be required to hold a CLP at least 30 days before applying for a CDL, and an issuing state would be required to check the applicant’s driving record, plus verify Social Security numbers and proof of legal U.S. residency.

Drivers applying for a new or upgraded CDL would be required to successfully complete minimum classroom and behind-the-wheel training from an accredited program.

States would be required to recognize CLPs issued by other states, and use standardized endorsement and restriction codes on CDLs.

Drivers would not be permitted to operate a commercial motor vehicle without holding a current CLP or CDL, or to operate a vehicle in violation of the restrictions on the CLP or CDL.

The proposed revisions have been provided to state legislative directors, who will be in contact with bus property general chairpersons.