Students who attend schools within the Lakota Local School District will be unable to board a yellow school bus Friday after bus drivers decided to strike amid contract disputes with bus provider Petermann Transportation.
The union representing Petermann bus drivers in the area, Teamsters Local 100, met Thursday night to review and vote on the company’s final contract offer. They rejected the offer and voted to strike.
Drivers will be picketing the bus terminal on Yankee Road Friday morning beginning at 5:30 a.m.
In the event of a strike, Lakota Local Schools would not be able to offer any transportation for students in grades kindergarten through ninth grade.
The district said in a message to parents Tuesday afternoon that communication would be sent to families as soon as the district is made aware of the situation. In addition, students who attend classes at another building will not travel between schools; Lakota says it is looking at alternative options for those classes.
“We are assessing our ability to participate in athletics during a possible strike,” the message says. “Parents will receive more information from their schools and teams as it becomes available.”
When asked for comment on a possible strike, Petermann Transportation responded in an email:
“We can confirm that we are negotiating and bargaining in good faith with our co-workers,” reads an email from a Petermann spokesperson. “We are optimistic that we can come to an agreement to ensure our students and community are unaffected by these negotiations.”
Bill Davis, president of Teamsters Local 100, said the union’s members don’t want to strike, but they’re also not happy with the contract language proposed by Petermann.
Specifically, Davis said the drivers take issue with new provisions within the contract that would allow drivers’ supervisors to virtually monitor them at any time; Previously, the typical contract language allowed surveillance in the event of a complaint made, or any indication of reckless driving, Davis said.
“We’re all human,” Davis said. “None of us are perfect. Would you want constant video supervision at your job? A rogue supervisor who did not like you could make your job much harder, or even get you terminated.”
Davis said he didn’t believe there is any indication drivers have performed their jobs so poorly as to need constant virtual supervision.