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Plum Bus Drivers Urge Officials to Keep Transportation Services In House

Plum School Board members have considered outsourcing district transportation services.

In the midst of transportation contract negotiations, Plum School District bus drivers are urging officials to keep services in-house instead of outsourcing.

Last week, more than 10 people addressed the school board in favor of keeping services in the district. The contract for transportation personnel expired July 31, and the district and union have yet to agree on new terms.

However, many bus drivers who spoke up said they are facing pay cuts—they denied to say how much because negotiations are ongoing. There are about 60 people in the union.

Walter Comin, vice president of the union, said that while he understands why cuts are needed, they should be fair.

"We are willing to do our share, but we ask that it be done reasonably," he said.

Many of the district employees said they are concerned the district is going to outsource transportation services in an effort to save money. Earlier this year, district officials the option.

Comin noted that the district currently has control over who drives the buses. That most likely wouldn't be the case should another company take over.

Bus driver Margaret DiVincenzo, an employee for 28 years, said outsourcing the positions could jeopardize the safety of the students because large companies might not hire local drivers.

"We are a family, not a corporation," she said. "We care about the children in Plum Borough. I understand having to cut, but not at the safety of our children."

Board member Andy Drake said he could not comment on the issue because both entities still are negotiating.

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