Local 252 President Debra Hagan had a very busy summer fighting on behalf of workers in Suffolk County. She organized a new workgroup, as well as ratified three amazing contracts.
The newest members of Local 252 are actually former management at Suffolk Bus Corporation– who realized that they were better off not being in management but belonging to the union.
Hagan explained that the workers handle customer client reservations for para transit rides, but “kept getting jostled around” with their schedules, work hours and holidays.
“They were being told, ‘Take it or leave it.’ So, they came to the union,” she said. “A union shop steward quietly worked with them, and we got the signed cards right away, within a week.”
Suffolk Bus Corporation voluntarily recognized the cards as filed with the National Mediation Board and the workgroup was born. Hagan is currently in the process of negotiating the first contract.
“New member organizing is always a difficult exercise, but it’s made so much easier when you negotiate solid contracts. Significant wage increases and additional sick leave and holidays speak for themselves,” said TWU Director of Organizing Angelo Cucuzza. “Debra and her team utilized basic textbook organizing and the way it was handled, from start to finish, was impeccable. This is the way to truly build worker power.”
On June 21, the other workgroup at Suffolk Bus – Operators, Washers and Mechanics – ratified a five-year contract, which includes wage increases of a minimum 17.5% over 5 years, and additional sick days, holidays and shop allowance.
On August 3, Local 252 members who work for First Student unanimously ratified a five-year contract, which includes a total wage increase of 34.6% over the five years, huge increases to longevity bonus, health insurance, 401k and sick days.
On August 26, Local 252 members who work for Guardian School Bus and Maintenance ratified a three-year contract, which includes wage increases of 13% – 14.5% over 3 years, a 10 percent increase to 401k company contributions, increased sick days and holidays.
The TWU keeps Suffolk County Moving!