Transit- NYSUT expects to fight Niskayuna on bus-driver outsourcing – The Business Review

Posted: June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

June 20, 2013

The union representing Niskayuna Central School District’s bus drivers plans to file a legal challenge contesting the school’s decision to hire its drivers through a private company.

The Business Review first reported the outsourcing here.

The drivers, part of the 140-member Niskayuna School District Employees Association (NYSDEA), last week voted 60-24 to reject a contract that included a 12-percent cut in pay and cuts in pension payments. It’s the third time in a year that the union rejected an agreement.

NYSDEA represents the school’s transportation, operations, maintenance and food-service employees. It is a part of the 600,000-member New York State United Teachers.

A NYSUT spokesman said it’s likely the union will take the case to the Public Employment Relations Board for arbitration.

Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio told The Business Review in an earlier interview that the district did its due diligence, and that the board of education understood the implications when it agreed to outsource drivers if the savings could not be accomplished internally.

“We did everything we possibly could have done,” she said.

The drivers’ contract would have saved Niskayuna $200,000 a year. That’s the same amount the district expects to save by contracting its transportation services through a private company, Ohio-based First Student.

The 4,100-student district will retain its bus fleet, and its operations and maintenance staff.

Those cost-savings come as Niskayuna and other public schools find ways to balance rising healthcare and pension costs against leaner funding.

Voters in the affluent suburban Schenectady County school district in May rejected a $76.3 million budget that exceeded the state’s mandatory property tax cap. On June 18, they passed a $75.7 million budget that fell below the cap.

via NYSUT expects to fight Niskayuna on bus-driver outsourcing – The Business Review.

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