District bus drivers, monitors approve contract

School bus drivers and monitors working for Durham School Services, the Beaufort County School District’s transportation contractor, voted to approve a five-year contract.

The vote concluded months of negotiations between Durham and the Teamsters, the union that represents the drivers as well as monitors who assist drivers in transporting special education students. The Durham employees had been working without a contract since last summer.

“This hasn’t been a short or easy road to travel, but it appears that Durham and its drivers and monitors have reached an agreement that will bring stability to their relationship,” said Acting Superintendent Jackie Rosswurm. “For our parents, this agreement should ease their concerns about a sudden interruption in school bus service due to a strike.”

Three South Carolina school districts — Beaufort, Charleston and Dorchester District 2 in Summerville — have partially privatized bus transportation systems.  All three contract with Durham to supervise bus routes, drivers and monitors. The Teamsters Union represents many drivers and monitors in those districts and negotiated with Durham on their behalf.  Drivers and monitors in all three districts voted last month to authorize strikes if contract negotiations were unsuccessful.

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