‘The clock is running’: No deal for Trumbull school bus drivers as talks end
TRUMBULL — A day-long negotiating session produced some movement, but no deal between the union representing Trumbull school bus drivers and monitors and Durham School Services.
“We got close, so close, but there is no deal,” Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1336 President Mustafa Salahuddin said. “Now, we’ll bring the company’s last offer to the members for a vote, but this proposal is for less than the members said they would accept.”
The union has been working under a contract that expired in August 2019. Under the terms of the deal, the expired contract continues in effect while the two sides negotiate a new deal. Either side can void the deal, through a strike or worker lockout, with 60 days notice.
Monday’s negotiating session, in which there was some movement on both sides over things like wages, and retroactive pay increases for the past year, essentially reset the clock. That means that workers will remain on the job until at least late November.
“If the members vote ‘no,’ then we will notify the company that the clock is running, and that 60 days starts counting down,” Salahuddin said. “But we’ve gone as far as we’re willing to go, and the company has phrased this as their final offer.”
Just hours earlier, Salahuddin had been optimistic a deal could be reached.
“We’re very close,” he said late Monday afternoon during a break in the talks.
Durham had upped its offer on pay increases to the point where Salahuddin described that part of the negotiation as being “almost there.” There also had been some back-and-forth negotiations on the retroactive pay issue.
“They’ve been reviewing our latest proposal for the past half hour, so maybe that’s a good sign,” Salahuddin said at 4:30 p.m. “If they come back with a counter, I think we have a little bit more room.”