Support the Bus Drivers, Monitors and Aides at Durham School Services in Cumberland, RI

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The hard-working bus drivers, monitors and aides employed at Durham School Services are standing together for a better future for both their families and yours. Each year, these essential workers dedicate themselves to safely transporting the students and scholars at Cumberland Public Schools, Blackstone Valley Prep and Providence Mayoral Academy.

They formed their union with UFCW Local 328 in September of 2019 to address important issues that impact both safety and service. On Tuesday, June 16th, employees at Durham delivered a signed petition calling on the company to address their concerns. You can read about it here: https://bit.ly/3hAYS2W

Knowing the added responsibilities, changes in working conditions, additional hazards and risks both workers and children will be facing and the need to improve staffing levels, it is unfortunate that the company's out-of-state lead negotiator is offering:

-          No improvements in wages

-          No improvements in safety or attendance bonuses

-          No extended paid sick leave in the event workers test positive for COVID-19

National Express, the parent company of Durham School Services, earned record-breaking profits in 2019 amounting to over $240 million. These proposals from the company would keep bus monitors stuck at only $11.22 an hour and would keep bus drivers earning below the standards here in Rhode Island. Low wages leads to under-staffing which can lead to disruptions in service for our communities.

The new state guidelines urges bus companies to provide additional monitors on every bus for safety, however Durham’s proposal does nothing to retain, attract or reward the essential staff our communities need.

We also have attempted to secure future negotiating dates with Durham so they can respond to the important concerns of their employees with a sense of urgency before the start of the school year. However, with the beginning of school dated for August 31st, Durham has not offered or agreed to any virtual meeting dates in July and has only currently offered one date in August.

Together, we can call on Durham to be a responsible employer and a better community partner. As we reopen schools, it's more important than ever that Durham prioritizes the concerns of their employees and our communities. By signing and sharing this petition, we can send a strong message that we're standing together for Rhode Island families. Thank you!

(You may get asked to 'chip in', but feel free to skip that step. That request is coming from change.org. Just signing and sharing is great and very much appreciated!)