Teamsters announce date for bus driver strike if no deal reached

Teamsters announce date for bus driver strike if no deal reached
Providence Mayor: No easy alternative if school bus drivers strike
Despite having known for months that there was a real chance that the Teamsters Local 251 would strike against the city’s bus company — First Student— Elorza told reporters that the City of Providence will be offering no replacement form of transportation.

He said that his administration reached out to ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber as well as to RIPTA, but none have an interest or capacity to provide replacement transportation services during the strike.

Teamsters Local 251, which represents the city’s 200 bus drivers, has threatened to strike if First Student, Inc. doesn't allow the drivers to begin earning a pension rather than a 401(k). The drivers overwhelmingly voted down an offer from the company last week, but also voted in a favor their own proposal that would include a pension.

Elorza said the Providence Police and bus monitors will be called in to assist, but could not outline how more than 10,000 students could be moved safely to and from school. Some families live as much as 20 minutes or more to drive from their schools.

While Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city has been discussing contingency plans for weeks should bus drivers go on strike, he said there was "no ready and easy alternative" to getting the school district's 9,000 students to school should First Student drivers walk off the job.

Joining Elorza was Police Chief Hugh Clements and School Superintendent Christopher Maher and neither of them offered any solution. Both said Providence Police and the School Department would do everything to keep children safe, but provided no specifics.

View Larger + Prev Next Registered Voters Q1: Are you registered to vote in Rhode Island? Total 501 100% Yes: 501 100% No: 0 0% Don't know: 0 0%

"Make no mistake about it, if there is a strike, it's going to be a tremendous disruption getting kids to and from school," Elorza said, adding that the city will do what it can to try and minimize that disruption.

Q3: In which age group are you? 18-24:  7% 25-34:  16% 35-44:  15% 45-54:  20% 55-64: 17% 65+      25%

Q4: When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party? Democrat: 38% Republican:14% Moderate: 6% Unaffiliated: 39% Don't know/Refused: 3%

While most would be responsible for any additional transportation costs incurred during the strike, students who receive special transportation under federal guidelines would be reimbursed for any transportation costs.

Q5: Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices.  How likely is it that you will vote in this election?   Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50…

First Student has said it is offering pay raises and increases in its 401(k) contributions, but it is unwilling to begin making payments the Teamsters’ existing regional pension system, which is severely underfunded.

Q6: What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?  

Elorza, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré, Police Chief Hugh Clements and School Superintendent Christopher Maher held a news conference Friday morning to answer questions about the impending work action.

Q7: In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?  

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — September 27. That's the date thousands of students could be left without a ride to school if a deal between First Student and members of Teamsters Local 251 can reach a deal.

Q8: Thinking ahead several years, is your outlook about Rhode Island more optimistic or more pessimistic?     

The mayor said the city looked at other bus companies up and down the East Coast, as well as RIPTA and even taxi and Uber. He said none of them could handle the capacity.

Q9: Over the last three years or so, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?  

If there is a strike, any absences in the first three days would be considered excused, meaning students could make up any missed work at the conclusion of the strike. 

Q10: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

In the event of a strike, bus monitors – which are members of a different union – would also be placed at schools to assist during arrivals and dismissals.

Q11: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Q12: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Q13: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

During the news conference Friday, the mayor said if a strike happens, families would be notified immediately.

Q14: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Teamsters Local 251, which represents the bus drivers who transport the citys 9,000 elementary and middle school students to and from school each day, announces that the drivers will strike on Thursday if no agreement can be reached with their employer, First Student bus company.

Q15: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Q16: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Q17: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Q18: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo – for whom would you vote?        

Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo – for whom would you vote?         

Q21: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo – for whom would you vote? 

Q22: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo – for whom would you vote?        

Q23: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Nardolillo – for whom would you vote?

Q24: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Flanders – for whom would you vote?           

Q25: If there was an election today, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $250 million in financing supported general obligation bonds to repair Rhode Island's deteriorating school buildings and bring them up to minimum standards called “warm, safe and dry”?

Q26: The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.   In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?  

Q27: The City of Providence and the state of Rhode Island are considering a proposal by New York developer Jason Fane to build a 46-story luxury residence tower in Providence, next to a public riverfront park.  The developer will invest $250 to $300 million of his own funds.  The project is called the Hope Point Tower, it would be 170-feet taller than the Superman building and would require waiving height restrictions and the use of state tax credits. In general, do you favor or oppose development of the Hope Point Tower?  

Q28: How would you rate the job that Mayor Jorge Elorza has done managing issues related to speed cameras in Providence?

Q29: Since it was launched in 2016, UHIP — the Rhode Island program designed to improve customer service for those who receive federal benefits — has run into significant problems, including long lines, cost overruns, lost applications, over- and under-charging of patients and families.    Based on what you know at this time, what percent of blame for this do you assign to:  

Deloitte, the consulting company who produced the system……………………… 53.3% Governor Gina Raimondo, who has been governor since the system launch in September 2016………………. 47.1%

Q30: Presently, there are local groups opposing the development of a natural gas facility in Burrillville, solar projects in Exeter, a LNG facility in Providence and wind projects in North Kingstown.  Some people say that it is important for local groups to play a role in opposition of projects like these that could be dangerous or harmful to citizens;  Others say that local groups have gone too far to the detriment of the state’s long-term energy needs.  Which statement comes closer to your own view?  

Q32: The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS.  Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).  

Q33: What particular ethnic group or nationality – such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth – do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?  


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