May 15, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – School bus drivers in Santa Rosa County, Florida, who are members of Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile, Alabama, have won a major victory in a decision handed down by the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB has ordered the certification of their election, dismissing all objections their employer, Durham School Services, filed in order to delay the certification. The workers voted overwhelmingly in February 2013 to join Teamsters Local 991.
In its May 9 ruling, the NLRB stated, “It is certified that a majority of the valid ballots have been cast for International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 991, and that it is the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the employees….”
“We have been Teamsters and united in our hearts all along, fighting together to win the official recognition that we deserve,” said Missy Nowling-Driggers, a Durham school bus driver and member of Teamsters Local 991.
There are approximately 200 school bus workers in Milton, Pace and Navarre, Florida, who have been fighting alongside their union for recognition from Durham. They joined Teamsters Local 991 seeking improved safety and working conditions at the nation’s second-largest student transportation contractor.
“I commend every Teamster school bus member for the diligence they have shown throughout this process. These workers stood strong and stood their ground, while this company failed to respect their vote, and dragged them through an unnecessary process. After 14 months, this company needs to abide by the law and bargain a fair contract expeditiously and in good faith. We are going to continue to fight for these hardworking Teamsters who transport our most precious cargo—our children,” said Jim Gookins, Teamsters Local 991 Secretary-Treasurer.
The Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry began in 2006. Since then, more than 36,500 North American school bus and transit workers have become Teamsters.
*** Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.