TWU members in Westchester Ratify Contract by Overwhelming 217-to-2 Margin

Hundreds of school bus workers in Westchester County will be receiving significant raises and – for the first time - paid sick days, thanks to a contract Transport Workers Union Local 100 reached with the White Plains Bus Co. "This contract will undoubtedly improve the lives of our brothers and sisters at White Plains Bus,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “They will be better able to take care of their families and themselves. If they need to take a sick day, now they can without being penalized by a loss of pay.”

Local 100 represents about 400 employees at White Plains Bus, including Bus and Van Operators, Bus Monitors and Mechanics. The company, a subsidiary of National Express, provides school bus service for the White Plains school district, paratransit service for Westchester County, and charter bus service for special events and summer camps in the region.  Over the course of the five-year agreement, Local 100 Bus Operators, Van Operators and Mechanics will see their pay increase by 16.5%, and Bus Monitors will get a 15% rise. The contract runs from July 2018, through June 2023. Members ratified the contract in overwhelming fashion: 217 to 2 on Friday, March 8.

Other benefits from the agreement include:
- The length of time workers must have on the job to get the top pay rate will be slashed from four years to just one year. This will add another raise to the top rate for all employees who've been there between 1 and 4 years.
- The guaranteed work week for Bus Operators will rise over the length of the contract from 22.5 hours to 27.5 hours. Van Operators and Monitors’ hours will increase from 22.5 to 25 hours.
-  Up to five (5) earned sick days per year. For every 30 hours worked, an employee earns one hour of sick time.
- Workers can cash out unused sick time. The company will pay workers for 40% of their unused time. There also are safety and attendance bonuses. Workers with 15 or more years of service get an extra personal day.

This contract is believed to be the first to incorporate the provisions of the Earned Sick Leave Law that TWU Local 100 helped to enact with the support of Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Legislator Catherine Borgia last October. The law goes into effect April 19. Because of the success in getting the law passed, Local 100 negotiators were able to win paid sick time in these negotiations.

The contract was negotiated in Tarrytown, New York. In addition to President Utano, the Local 100 team included: School Bus Divison Chair Gus Moghrabi; Organizing Director Frank McCann and TWU Section Chair Luis Fernandez.