Bus drivers in Antioch, Lake Villa taking union vote

  • Some school bus drivers in Lake County will vote Friday on whether to unionize.

    Some school bus drivers in Lake County will vote Friday on whether to unionize. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 1/12/2017 5:43 PM

Numerous Lake County school bus drivers employed by a student transportation contractor involved in a fatal crash in Tennessee last year will vote Friday on whether to join the Teamsters union.

The decision includes drivers for Antioch High School District 117 and Lake Villa District 41 who work for Durham School Services, a spokesman for the Teamsters union Local 777 said Thursday.

 

Drivers are concerned about getting adequate training and about the safety of buses, Local 777 President James Glimco said. Another issue is discrepancies in pay.

Durham, which contracts with 53 Illinois school districts, had no comment, spokeswoman Molly Hart said.

Administrators with Districts 41 and 117 have praised Durham's safety record and performance.

If a majority of drivers agree to unionize, Local 777 will begin negotiating a contract with Durham, Glimco said.

"They really care about the kids they drive," he said.

A school bus driver who worked for Durham left his route and crashed into a tree Nov. 21 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing six children on board and injuring many others. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Illinois requires its school bus drivers to possess a commercial driver's license and school bus driver permit, which involves a written test and behind-the-wheel exam that is renewed every year; an annual physical; FBI and state police background check; and a clean driving record.

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