By Vic Baffoni
Vice President, Bus Dept.
Thank you to all who attended regional meeting workshops in Denver and Nashville, and those who made presentations. By the comments received, the workshops were a great success.
Our bus workshops had the largest attendance in many years, and we are working on improving them even more for the 2009 regional meetings in San Francisco and New Orleans.
On the legislative front, our national legislative office has achieved two significant successes.
First, our UTU PAC-supported lobbying helped to convince the U.S. DOT to postpone a proposed new rule requiring direct-observation drug and alcohol testing.
Second, our legislative efforts are behind legislation to halt the Bush administration’s green light for operators of Mexican trucks and buses to send their vehicles and drivers across our border and onto U.S. highways, with few restrictions. We haven’t achieved total victory, but we are making progress on our members’ behalf.
In San Rafael, Calif., Local 1741 concluded negotiations that won a three-year contract that rewards school bus drivers with increases each year of 6.1 percent, 6.2 percent, and 6.8 percent. Some operators will realize as much as a 26-percent raise through a change in the number of years’ seniority required to reach top scale. Many thanks to Pamela Williams, Lois Correa, Gary Romero, Paul Stein and Jim Charas for their hard work and perseverance.
Finally, vote your job on Election Day. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN.