Union Files a Grievance

Sounds the local union isn’t going down without a fight! From the Sun Post;

In response to the Robbinsdale School Board’s March 5 decision to outsource its bus transportation beginning July 1, a representative from the bus drivers’ union has filed a formal grievance. Shelly Johnson, a contract organizer for Service Employees International Union Local 284, said she filed a grievance March 8 with Supt. Aldo Sicoli on behalf of the bargaining unit, “indicating the violation of subcontracting bargaining unit work.”

Johnson said union officials would follow the grievance procedure outlined in the contract. According to attorney Sara Ruff, the first step is for the superintendent or his representative to discuss the grievance with a union representative within five days.

A response must come from District 281 within 10 days, according to the grievance timeline. “Hopefully, that will satisfy the grievance,” Ruff said. “If not, there are additional steps we can take.”

Johnson said the final step would be arbitration, if the grievance proceeds that far. A court case also could be an option, if the process continues, she said. She said the bus drivers were expecting the School District’s decision last week to privatize its bus service.

“They are disappointed and sad,” Johnson said. “This is their livelihood. There are people who won’t be able to pay their mortgages and who will lose their health insurance. No one was thinking about the larger impact on the community.” However, Johnson credited the bus drivers with “taking the high road,” despite last week’s outcome. “They continue to show up for work; I would not tell them to do anything different,” Johnson said.

The labor union, which represents 8,000 school service employees, including the District 281 bus drivers and custodians, is still in negotiations with the district on its two-year contract, which expired June 30, 2011.

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