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CL bus drivers, attendants ink deal

CRYSTAL LAKE – A new contract for the union representing Crystal Lake school bus drivers and attendants has been approved.

Teamsters Local 731 represents about 60 bus drivers and bus attendants in Crystal Lake school Districts 47 and 155 employed by the Transportation Joint Agreement.

Both districts and the union agreed to a three-year contract. The districts share the costs.

District 47 school board President Jeff Mason said the Teamsters came to the negotiating table and bargained “reasonably,” which led to “a fair contract that maintains financial stability for both districts.”

The Teamsters ratified the latest contract in July. As the governing board, District 47 approved the agreement at a meeting last week.

The contract includes a salary freeze for the 2012-13 year. Drivers and attendants will see 25-cent raises in 2013-14 and a 50-cent raise the following year.

The last TJA contract expired June 30.

Some of the biggest changes include a paid holiday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and TJA employees may bank holidays to be compensated during winter and spring break.

“It is a huge deal for them because they don’t receive any benefits for spring break, summer and Christmas break,” TJA Director of Transportation Kathy Anes said.

Employees also may elect to set aside 10 percent of their wages to be paid during the summer.

Districts 47 and 155 entered into the Transportation Joint Agreement in 1974.

The TJA operates and maintains bus service to children in pre-K through 12th grade. Bus service is provided for students that live more than 1½ miles from school.

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