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CV Might Fire School Bus Drivers

A strike might be the only option for the union if the Chartiers Valley School District decides to terminate all of its bus drivers and hire a private company to do the work.

The is considering terminating all of its bus drivers, transportation support staff and custodians in favor of hiring a private company to do the work.

The school board will meet Monday morning to vote on a contractual fact finding report that was already accepted by the Chartiers Valley Education Support Professionals union.  

If the board rejects the fact finding report at its 7:30 a.m. meeting, which a union representative thinks is a strong possibility, the bus drivers and custodians could be out of a job after the end of this school year. Butch Santicola, the spokesman for the union, said the school district has solicited proposals for a private company to take over the busing of students.

“We’re concerned about that,” Santicola said. “A lot of good people will lose their jobs, salaries and everything they’ve worked for over their lives.”

The union plans to meet Sunday to discuss whether a strike should be implemented before the end of the school year. Santicola said a strike isn’t ideal, but the union might not have any other options.

If the board rejects the fact finding report, Santicola said the union could strike as early as Wednesday morning.

“What choice do they have? They’re going to lose their jobs, possibly,” he said. “These actions are not taken lightly or without much thought.”

The Post-Gazette reported that the union has been working without a contract since 2011.

School district officials released a statement on the situation Friday afternoon:

The Chartiers Valley School District is disappointed to learn that Chartiers Valley Support Personnel Association (CVSPA) is contemplating a strike.

The school board did reject the Fact Finder’s report and will take formal action regarding the report at the special action school board meeting scheduled for Monday, May 21 at 7:30 am.

The district still hopes to reach a mutual agreement with CVSPA and fully intends to continue to follow the negotiating process in good faith to reach that end. The school board has directed its chief negotiator, Mike Brungo, to schedule additional negotiating sessions with CVSPA. The district believes more could be accomplished by good-faith bargaining than a strike.

Under Act 88, CVSPA must give the district 48 hours notice of its intent to strike. If that occurs, the district will communicate to families in the Chartiers Valley community by letter, our website (www.cvsd.net) and the AlertNOW phone system. Although we hope a strike does not occur, the district is currently developing contingency plans to continue operating if CVSPA does decide to strike.

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Roger May 25, 2012 at 02:05 AM
to: Supports ... I see you wrote lots of words. I don't have time to read and digest right now. However, your first sentence reveals you have not read my posts - is there a reason for me to read yours. I have not "opposed" as you write. One of my posts clearly says that I have not taken a position. I'll let b. smith speak for himself/herself. All I have done is merely challenged those who wish to embrace the status quo to defend their position. Yes, lots of posts who want the status quo, but when challenged, they offered nothing to defend their position. Some arguments being advanced (e.g. low bidder, longevity of current employees) fell flat. The inability of people to defend these positions, and presumably vote, scares me. Do these posts represent a typical profile of those who vote? If so, no wonder we are in a heap of trouble with our governments, local, state, and federal.
Just Sayin' May 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM
You did read it wrong-the comment was "They can pay 80,000 for someone like Tim McConnell to run the buses for the last few years and now he's head of security". This does not mean the bus drivers make $80,000/year. Their average yearly salary is between $11,700-$18,000/year as evidenced by the information on the fact-finder's report. I don't know what Tim McConnell's salary is, but he does not "run the buses", Mike Mazzeo is the director of transportation. Tim McConnell is also is not "head of security", Walter Schultz is. Among coaching and other duties, Tim McConnell works with the bus drivers, school principals, and parents in regards to bus discipline. I agree with you about getting the same product for less money, but keep in mind, just as you said "equal quality product" - you have to make sure it's truly EQUAL on all levels.
Just Sayin' May 25, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Your comment "They can pay 80,000 for someone like Tim McConnell to run the buses for the last few years and now he's head of security" is incorrect. I don't know what Tim McConnell's salary is, but he does not "run the buses", Mike Mazzeo is the director of transportation. Tim McConnell is also is not "head of security", Walter Schultz is. Among coaching and other duties, Tim McConnell works with the bus drivers, school principals, and parents in regards to bus discipline.
Just Sayin' May 25, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Roger- For someone who seems to have the time to read and respond to many other comments on this subject, you'd think you had the sense to "read and digest" what 'Supports CV Employees' said before blathering on yet again about why these people should get a contract and keep their jobs. This person defended the position (very well, I might add), and answered all these questions/comments and then some. They also have some pretty good points in favor of the employees. This person is also 100% correct about it being about the children and community. It shouldn't be about unions and/or politics. Not to be cheesy, but the children ARE our future, and we should remember that when making these decisions. The district and union should figure out a way to make this work so the local, long-standing employees can keep serving the district rather than the alternative.
Just Sayin' May 25, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Remember folks, the taxpayers of the Chartiers Valley School District voted the school board members into office so that they can serve the district's students in the best way possible. These school board members work for YOU and are spending YOUR tax dollars. If you want the school board to hammer out a deal with these employees and keep them employed, contact them - petition them to do what you feel is best for your children and community. If you don't know who all comprise the school board, go to www.cvsd.net, click on the "district" tab, then scroll down to the school board tab. Let your voices be heard.
b smith May 25, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Okay I was thinking I was gonna have to be a bus driver if they were paying 80k.
Roger May 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM
to: Supports ... OK, I went through your several postings. But, I see you have wrongly characterized my previous comments. As I stated before, you apparently read only what you wished, and not what I wrote. I never took a position, as you have stated. Now, reading more of your writing, I see you choose to make it a union issue. I don't think anywhere else in this thread, the union issue arose. A driver of a private transportation company posted that he was a union driver, making more money than CV drivers, but less benefits. I think that is the only reference to a union. Perhaps the union issue is more at the center of the discussion that others wanted to speak. Is that why some have commented that your posts are more complete? Be that is it may, your posts are the same ideas as other posted, just using more words, "... the current workers are better suited for the job ..." This may be true, but that is not clear. Just because somebody has been at a job for many years, in no way makes them better qualified. We can all point to cases where certain employees far outlast their effectiveness and usefulness on a job. To be sure, experience can be important, but laziness, promptness, and being alert to new things can also be comprised with longevity. Do we need to look far into the political arena to see that this is true?
Roger May 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Cont - part 2 (taking a page from your book): Nobody has yet to explain why it is necessary for the government-paid workers to "care for our children" in this context, yet putting the same children in the hands of others in private business. I cited day care centers earlier. These places are filled with children every day, staffed by, ... well, who knows who? I have nothing against these workers, but if these workers who are in a private enterprise are good enough to be with our children all day, are not those in a private enterprise good enough to transport children? You cited turnover rates in drivers. What about turnover rates in privately run day care centers? I think the rates are pretty high. You cited all the checks required for drivers in a school district. Another posts expressed horror that a private business might use a convicted felon for driving. This week, KDKA posted a story of a woman, a convicted felon, who had been driving a school bus in the West Salem School District. Only when a state rule went into effect about drivers and felony convictions, was this rooted out. So, the checks by the School District did not find this when she was hired. We can all find stories on both sides, problem employees, and negative outcomes. People do not become a changed person when walking across the thresh hold at the School District bus garage.
Roger May 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Cont - part 3: As for others pointing out "where is an example of private enterprise doing something better and for less cost than School District employees." There are many examples, but one obvious example is repair and preventative maintenance work on HVAC within the District's facilities. I think every District contracts this work with a private service provider. I know, I know, ... your post, plus many others use the "it is our children, and we must do best for them," or themes along this line. I'm sorry, but this argument does not go very far when looking to the statistic of 36% of our children are overweight or obese. If parents feel so strongly about the care of our children, the recent upswing in these kinds of statistics tells us about how much parents care. Despite the "helicopter" nature of many parents, is the "care" misdirected? When I see parents driving their children a block or two to the bus stop, hovering around the street corner, I wonder about the nature of their "care." When I see parents spend hours and hours getting their kids to youth sporting events, then see the long lines at Brewsters later in the evening, I wonder about the nature of their "care." When I see parent disregard the spiritual well-being of their children, so that their child can participate in ballet, basketball, or other such events, I wonder about the nature of of their "care."
Roger May 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Cont - part 4: The value of this story is not about the CV transportation issue, rather a glimpse into how the general public responds to community needs. Perhaps the best situation is to keep what is in place, have he taxpayers pony up the added funds to support the demands. Or, perhaps the best situation is explore other choices to provide the same functions. What in interesting to watch is why so many want status quo, but are unable to provide sound reasons for their decision. My challenge for explanation has uncovered several false covers for choices. But, this is what happens with government entities. Despite outcries for "we don't like," "we need to change," and similar, when the choice gets down to the line, status quo wins out. We see this not only in local governments, but state (e.g. changes in educational funding out of Harrisburg), and Federal as well (e.g. changes in entitlement programs). Often when a government program begins, it continues to feed a certain segment. The ONLY expectation is that not only will the feed continue, but it will enlarge. In other words, just keep doing, and do it yet more. "When another's ox get gored, that is OK, but make sure it is not my ox." So, the same principles and responses are at work here. "it is always been done this way" prevails. Many think longevity is plenty good reason to keep the government pipe flowing with funds to support.
b smith May 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
CLAP CLAP CLAP!!! Agreed there Roger...remember this is what is being taught to our children these days, that the private sector is bad and profits are Evil. Another example is the Port Authority look at the decrease routes and increased fares. Like the post office if they had to compete in the private sector they wouldn't last a week. How about Amtrack. All are proper up on government funds. Port authority alone could be run by a private company. They would be adding routes and that subway would be all over Pittsburgh not just the south hills. Another story for another day.
Just Sayin' May 26, 2012 at 02:07 PM
WOW! 'Supports CV Employees' is right. You've a serious issue with government. This article & comments are about keeping EXPERIENCED CV bus drivers, custodians, & maintenance personnel employed for the benefit of the district & community. The privatizing issue is about these folks, not privatizing in general. This article is also not about day care centers, obesity, or attacking parents’ “disregard the spiritual well-being of their children” (i.e. religion). The W. Salem woman was fired because the district has to follow the law-being held to a higher standard as 'Supports CV Employees’ said. You're correct with "People do not become a changed person when walking across the thresh hold at the School District bus garage.", but in some cases, like this one, the rules change the person’s situation. The woman thought nothing wrong about selling drugs now that she was clean–HUH? By the way, taxes aren't going up for the district. You'd know that if you investigated the school board’s passing of the budget without any increases. Also, if you'd investigated the fact-finder's report, you'd see the proposed contract could be met with the budget currently in place. You're incorrect in stating "have he taxpayers pony up the added funds to support the demands". Know your facts before making statements. If you want to discuss government, politics, religion, or those other issues you brought on, that's for another forum. Stay on point!
Rose Oelschlager May 26, 2012 at 04:12 PM
b smith & roger - all i want to know is do you live, pay taxes, or have/had children in this district? if you don't, then might i suggest you stop fighting with those who do!!!
b smith May 26, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Yes Rose and 4 generations before me have as well.
Rose Oelschlager May 26, 2012 at 05:45 PM
so i take it that you were satisfied with the services.
b smith May 26, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Just sayin. .. the article is about firing Cv bus drivers and replacing them with a private company...not" this article & comments are about keeping EXPERIENCED CV bus drivers, custodians, & maintenance personnel employed for the benefit of the district & community." You imply that the private companyis only inexperienced drivers. Ive said it from the beginning that who e rt is going to transport our children efficiently, safely, and at the best price to we the tax payers then so be it. I cant speak for Roger but I think he was saying that if the current drivers are the best for the job and their records and experience give the better deal for the tax payers even at an equal or higher cost and the tax payers are fine with that then let the tax payers pony up the money. That was my take on it. Maybe he meant it that way I m not sure.
Rose Oelschlager May 26, 2012 at 06:36 PM
let their records show us any different.
Just Sayin ' May 26, 2012 at 07:51 PM
To be clear–“keeping EXPERIENCED CV bus drivers,custodians,& maintenance personnel employed”,means experienced in OUR district. Never said private companies are staffed with inexperienced employees,& don’t feel that way. I’m sure there’s plenty of honorable & competent people working there or they wouldn’t be in business. You’re right-the article is about firing CV drivers,but the majority of posters are in favor of keeping all the affected employees for the benefit of the district & communities. I agree-whoever will perform these tasks at the best price should get the work;however,you must make sure you’re getting the entire package & comparing apples to apples on all levels. Take bus drivers for example…talk to parents in the W.Allegheny district–they’ve outsourced the busing,& don’t transport students anywhere other than to school & back. They don’t do field trips,sports or after-school activities,detention,etc. (without extra exorbitant fees). Costs the district too much,so the burden is on the parents to transport the kids. At CV,you get all these benefits from our own drivers. Roger said "have he taxpayers pony up the added funds to support the demands”. The report shows no additional funds needed for the district to agree to the fact-finder’s recommendations;therefore,this comment is unfounded. Unless you & Roger are the same person,you shouldn’t speak on Roger’s behalf regarding what the comments meant.
b smith May 26, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Sayin... not the same person and I specifically stated that I cant speak for Roger but this is what I think he was saying... I don't ever remember riding a bus to any of my CV ice hockey games, for that matter we had to pay to play, not complaining at all, just saying not all sports are players taken to games. Instead our parents had to take us to games at Rostraver with10:10 start times. Sometimes 2x a week. Doesn't matter. If the current drivers are the best people for the job let them drive. Is there a reason they have been going so long without a contract? Why decide to strike now? I do find it funny that there are so many stops now for the bus. Here and then 1/2 a block up the street then 2 blocks after that. I know we had about 5 maybe 6 stops when I was in school. We walked a few blocks and it was good you made more friends that way and it was healthier.
trusgold May 27, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Well come election time if we are sending our kids to school on vendored out buses...if our schools are being maintained by vendored out custodial saff. We will be getting some new school board people and bring "OUR" drivers back. Yes, they are "OUR" drivers and "OUR" custodIans. Tread lightly school board. the CVSD voters are watching you very closely. I know you think very few of us are watching. I have about 6 neighbors and co-workers asking me what's going on frequently. I do tell them...and they typically they like it less than I do...so if this happens you will be on "THE LIST". What that means to the CVSD voters will have a "1 issue election". The issue is who is driving my kids to school and who owns and maintains the buses. The custodians and bus drivers have every right to be employees of CVSD. They are not second class employees. Thats what you are making them. This whole thing stinks from top to bottom. is it a money issue, a safety issue, a power issue? There is more to this story than any of us will ever know, except the co-conspirators.
trusgold May 27, 2012 at 05:21 AM
i would certainly hope that the one place that money doesn't rule is the schools are kids are in. So we follow the the who ever does it the cheapest gets the jobs. Maybe we should get the 15 year olds work permits? we can get them dirt cheap. They turn 16 get a license well then they could.....
Just Sayin' May 27, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Regarding your personal experience with ice hockey transportation-you must pose this question to whoever handled your transportation arrangements. Perhaps buses and/or drivers were not available during your transit times; perhaps your trip coordinator preferred outside transportation. The fact-finding report indicates the union has been working without a contract and without service interruption since July 1, 2011. I can't speak for the union, but one can deduce that the union has been working in good faith during the negotiations in the hopes of reaching a fair agreement. As far as calling a strike now-the union has not called for a strike. In general, most unions do not wish to strike; they are typically a last resort in an attempt to resolve disputes fairly, and job preservation. The locations of bus stops are due to state regulations & parental demand. State regulations determine the maximum distance a child may walk to their stop based on their age and the location of their residence. For example, if a student lives on a main road, say Bower Hill Road, they will have a front door stop; it is not deemed safe to walk to & stand on a street corner. If you have several students living on that road, you potentially have a situation as you mentioned "Here and then 1/2 a block up the street then 2 blocks after that". Perhaps these regulations were not in effect when you went to school.
Just Sayin' May 27, 2012 at 05:38 AM
You don't have to wait for election time to make your voices heard. The district's solicitor recommends action, but it is the school board who makes the final decision. These board members work for YOU, the district taxpayers. The time for you to let them know what you want is now; don’t wait until they make a mess of things and then try to make it better again with a new board. Once these employees are gone, the damage will be done. You CAN petition them to do what you, as taxpayers, want them to do. I strongly urge each and every one of you to do just that - contact your board and demand what's right for the district and the community. Don't wait... Just imagine...if every citizen were to contact their school board representative with the demand that they hammer out a deal with the union and keep these valuable employees...we might actually see the public service these folks committed to when they took office.
trusgold May 27, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Roger, You are right about that being the pprobelm but it is notr what you said. Everyone wnats to make a liveable wage, but they sure do not thibk anyone else should be have one. No money is not the number motivation for every decision. How about some loyalty? If companies would have little more loyalty to their employees thi economy would be in much better shape, but everyone wants to see the other guy take the pay cut. Well I for one am willing to pay a few bucks more to keep these people on the payroll. Roger remember a middle class, now you want to cut people making $11K and $19K. I wonder if this protracted fight, how much will this cost? Just keep things the way they are, if it not broke don't fix it. Oh and the employees won't go broke. Oh and one more question, so the lowest paid I believe $11,700 so do you want a guy making $8,000 driving the kids if thats the best job he can get? This is just wrongheaded to even make this huge fuss over the school employees. Maybe we can vendor out the cafetetria food and feed them prison food. That would save money Roger. I think you are on the wrong side of this one. the bottom line is this...The Feds cut funding to state, the state cuts funding to the locals ..well the buck stops here. We either stand up & say there are things more important than sucking every cent out of workers. Let's shop around for a cheaper lawyer. The one we have is milking us ..I bet we could get one cheaper. You know save a few bucks.
Just Sayin' May 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I agree...especially when you consider "PA Super Lawyer" Michael L Brungo is a partner in his own law firm. I don’t know his hourly rate, but in being a law partner, he’s certainly making more than $22.62/hour (the rate for the highest paid member of this union as evidenced in the fact-finder’s report). This has been dragged out over the course of the year-long (plus) negotiations period. How much of the taxpayer’s money do you think he’s stuffed into his pocket? Fact: None of Maiello, Brungo & Maiello’s 3 law offices are located anywhere near our district, nor does Brungo live in, or near, our district. In our case, he doesn’t “live, work, and play in the communities” he’s serving to quote ‘Supports CV Employees’. What motivation does he have to get this settled in a timely fashion, when he's been, and continues being paid all this taxpayer money for his services? Makes you think…does he care about our district’s well-being, or is he striving for another success notch on his wall, and fattening of his wallet? The fact-finder’s report is fair, and allows the contract to go in place without any additional funding from the community (i.e. no tax hike). Why has Brungo repeatedly advised the school board to reject it?
b smith May 27, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Haha trip coordinator! Hockey players pay to wear CVs uniform. There is nothing recieced by players from the district. Now I know player pay a few thousand dollars a season to play, plus buy their own equipment sticks and transport to games. Again not complaining just stating a fact.
Dream On May 28, 2012 at 02:51 AM
AMEN! However, we currently have one African-American working for the district at the Intermediate School, a security guard. Its sad because this district needs diversity among its leadership, faculty, bus drivers, etc. it IS about who you know but it's more about WHAT you look like.
Dream On May 28, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Thank you for graciously allowing 'people of color to attend your schools for the last 20 years or so' as I'm sure they're very flattered. The district has one African-American working for the Intermediate School. The other 'qualified applicants' are now working for another district in the South Hills.
chet May 31, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Here is what subcotracting school buses gets you. The operator of a now-defunct bus company did not have insurance coverage during the time it transported Chartiers Valley School District students, state police said on Saturday. State police charged Michael N. Krawec, 25, of Pittsburgh with 161 counts of required financial responsibility for lacking insurance, along with one count each of false application for title, tampering with records, securing execution of documents by deception, insurance fraud, false swearing, and tampering with public records. Nick Morelli, the district's director of finance and support operations, said last night that during the time Krawek Transportation transported any district students, they and the vehicles in which they were riding were covered by the district's insurance policy.
chet May 31, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Police said someone made an anonymous call to a trooper in April to say that Krawec did not have insurance on his buses. Police said they found the buses on April 25 in an empty parking lot along Route 51 in Baldwin. Inside one of the buses, police said, they found an insurance card stating that it covered all vehicles owned or operated by the Chartiers Valley Transportation Department. The trooper called Krawec's insurance company, which said the policy had been canceled on Oct. 5. Troopers said the district said Krawec's company made 160 runs transporting students between Dec. 7 and April 25. Police filed charges against Krawec on Friday. He referred questions to his attorney, Nicholas Krawec, also his father, who said the bus company is no longer operating.

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