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No privatization, bus drivers stay in Brandon



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June 20, 2012 - Brandon Twp.- The school board unanimously approved during their June 18 meeting a contract with the Teamsters Local #214 bus drivers and mechanics.

The move avoided privatization, saved jobs in the community, and drew cheers from several bus drivers in attendance, including union steward Debbie Allen.

"Debbie, we thank you for working with the board," said Board President Kevin McClellan. "We're very proud the bus drivers are still on our team."

The bus drivers took concessions including a larger contribution to their healthcare and a wage freeze. Three existing drivers are retiring and will be replaced with new drivers that will not receive healthcare or retirement benefits. The total savings to the district is about $125,000.

"They came to the table and brought us good solutions," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon. "They are an important part of our district— the majority of our students ride the bus."

The board decided last month to privatize custodial services, but McMahon noted while that move yielded about $250,000 in savings to the district, the bus drivers had more flexibility in their contract to meet what an outside company would offer.

"We're very glad we could come to an agreement with the board," said Allen. "Our community is our family and we want to continue to be Brandon Blackhawks."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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