School Bus Transportation Negotiations Update – January 29, 2013
Parents of Rhinebeck Central School District Students, This will serve to keep you apprised and updated about the ongoing contract negotiations between Durham School Services, the company with whom our school district has contracted to provide transportation services to our students for the past several years, and Teamsters Local 445, which represents Durham’s bus drivers and bus monitors.
We have been keeping you apprised of the ongoing negotiations between these two parties. Since the bus drivers and bus monitors are employees of Durham School Services, and are not employees of the Rhinebeck Central School District, the school district is not, and cannot be, involved in these private sector contract negotiations between Durham and the Teamsters.
Contract negotiations began earlier in this past year, and both sides have been bargaining in good faith with the hopes of securing an agreement for all parties involved. Earlier this Fall, Durham employees voted to authorize a strike against Durham at some point in the future. As we have brought to your attention already, any strike or other job action on the part of Durham’s drivers has the potential to disrupt the normal schedules and instructional program for the Rhinebeck Central School District’s students and their parents.
We have been notified that the Durham employees are scheduled to meet tomorrow evening, Wednesday, January 30, 2013 to vote on accepting or rejecting an offer submitted by Durham to the Teamsters union. This offer followed negotiations sessions between Durham School Services and the Teamsters on January 8 and 9, 2013. The District is hopeful that both parties will be able to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and will work together toward that end until the matter is resolved.
Until such an agreement is reached, the school district’s goal is to make its best effort to maintain the integrity of the daily school schedule, the District’s excellent instructional program, and its outstanding support services on behalf of Rhinebeck’s students. Durham has informed the District that they have developed contingency plans in the event of a strike or other job action in response to the Teamsters’ strike vote this past Fall. In the interest of Rhinebeck’s children and their education, the District urges parents to be prepared by making contingency plans, including making alternative arrangements to transport their children to and from school, should that become necessary at some point
.In the event of any disruption to the usual transportation arrangements, the District will communicate to parents through the District web site (www.rhinebeckcsd.org), through letters, and through the usual methods of emergency notifications, including SchoolMessenger and local radio stations. The District continues to remain optimistic that these negotiations will be concluded successfully for all parties without further threat of disruption to the school schedule, the District’s instructional program, and District support services.
Sincerely, Joseph L. PhelanSuperintendent of Schools