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Providence School-Bus Strike Ends With Pension Compromise

October 22, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Area school-bus drivers and monitors returned to work Oct. 15, two days after almost unanimously ratifying a contract agreement that ended their 11-day walkout. The First Student bus company agreed to contribute to a pension fund for the workers, while Teamsters Local 251, the union representing them, agreed that the retirement plan would be a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan rather than a Teamsters defined-benefit pension plan. “It’s not 100 percent [of what we wanted], but it’s secure enough,” Local 251 business agent Nicholas Williams told the Providence Journal. The ratification vote was 100-0 with one abstention. First Student will contribute 50 cents per hour worked for the first two years a driver is on the job and $1 per hour after that, while drivers can choose to contribute part of their salary. “Today is the day we have waited so long for,” driver Lucy Jimenez of Providence said in Spanish. “This is a historic day for us.” Read more


October 22, 2018

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