Majority Leader John J. Igliozzi tonight put forth a solution to the school bus driver strike that would eliminate the disruption to our residents and students.
“The current labor dispute between First Student and Teamsters is not about wages, it is not about medical benefits, it is about funding a bus driver’s pension, which amounts to a little over $150,000 per year,” stated Majority Leader John J. Igliozzi. “In speaking to stakeholders, there are 200 bus drivers, a majority of whom are minority females who reside in the City of Providence. The Teamsters are asking that First Student contribute to the Teamster’s pension at $1.00 per hour per employee. On average, bus drivers work 6 hours per day. This amounts to $6.00 per day per bus driver or $1,200.00.”
Leader Igliozzi continues, “First Student currently pays $65,000.00 per year to cover 401K expenses for the bus drivers. The difference of what First Student contributes and what the Teamsters have proposed is $152,200.00, or 1.2% of the $12,500,000 contract between First Student and the City of Providence.”
To keep Providences’ children safe and get them back to school Leader Igliozzi is proposing that First Student and the City each pay 50% of the pension cost increase to provide the hardworking men and women with a pension that they have earned and deserved. The City is projecting an $8,000,000 surplus for FY2018 and is in good financial condition to eliminate the disruption brought to residents and students. This cost to the City and First Student would be approximately $76,100 each (a 0.06% increase to the City’s contract with First Student), an important investment in our children and residents.
Leader Iglozzi finished, “At the end of the day what’s more important, paying a little more for this contract or getting our children to school safely? We need to step up and show leadership.”