The unanimously approved a four-year contract with its bus drivers and custodians.
The board voted 8-0 to accept the contract that was by the Chartiers Valley Education Support Professionals union. School Director Debbie Rice did not attend the Tuesday night board meeting.
The union had been without a contract since 2011. Superintendent Brian White Jr. said one of the biggest parts of the new contract will give pay raises to part-time and new drivers.
“This was a tough negotiation,” White Jr. said. “I want to thank both parties for staying at the table. I’m very happy we’re settling this contract.”
Beth Eckenrode, who was speaking on behalf of the Chartiers Valley Task Force for Academic Excellence, praised the new contract, but has concerns about the drivers’ performances in recent years. She asked the union to improve the attendance of drivers and timeliness of their routes.
“Everyone needs to take a piece of the puzzle and lean into that,” she said.
White acknowledged there have been problems with some problems in the past, but highlighted the work by the majority of the drivers.
“There is a problem with absenteeism,” White said. “But many of them demonstrate excellence in their jobs.”
Rita Manski, who is a Chartiers Valley bus driver, was thankful for the contract and hoped to work with the administration to make improvements with the bus service.
“It’s a thing of all of us working together,” Manski said. “I suggest there be more conversations with the people who are a part of it. We need this. Some of your kids are like our own.”
at the end of last school year after and the district made contingency plans to hire subcontracted drivers and custodians. The workers finished the school year, however, and continued negotiating through the summer before culminating with an agreement over the weekend.