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Lower Providence — Education Top Stories

Union, District Tight-Lipped Over Contracts

Melissa S. Treacy

Friday, April 11, 2014 • 4:09pm

Mum is the word on the street now. Drivers that attended last night’s Local 384 Teamsters Union meeting were instructed not to speak to the press and public during contract negotiations.

Local 384, which represents both the current Methcton school bus drivers and custodial, as well as possible candidate for private driving company, Students First, has refused to return calls to LP TAP. Drivers were told not to speak to anyone, with or without their names, until contracts are settled.

The silence has area parents even more concerned.

“I just want to know what is going on,” said one mother, who asked not to be named due to the volatile situation. “We are paying these taxes, these are our children getting on these busses, and no one will tell us what is really happening.”

Another parent worried that the specialized care that current drivers offer may not be a feature offered with Students First or another private bus company.

“My son has special needs,” said a second mother requesting to have her name withheld. “It took us years to get it right, and he is comfortable with his driver now.”

Neither the Union leaders nor the school district will confirm that Students First is the considered alternative, though bus drivers LP TAP spoke with directly did name them as the likely successor to the contracted drivers’ union.

Some parents fear the lack of consistency that they’ve come to enjoy with the current Methacton drivers.

“My kids’ driver has been the driver since they got on in kindergarten,” said the father of one Arcola student. “Every kid on this street gets picked up by [Driver’s Name Withheld for Protection]. Every kid always has, and it is a pity they might consider dumping her on the street in favor of saving a buck.”

While a current agenda is not yet available via the district’s Agenda Manager system, the Methacton School Board will hold a work session meeting on Tuesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. A “policy committee meeting” will precede the work session at 6:15 p.m. Board meetings are typically held at Methacton High School.

For more information on the bus contract updates, continue to monitor LP TAP. You can sign up for its free, daily e-News, which delivers daily updates to the top stories in your township.

You can also follow our developing stories:

            Click here for the initial word on proposed cuts (April 10)

            Click here for the first rumors that change was coming (March 25)

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