Penn Hills Hopes to Save $3M in Bus Deal

By Varine, Patrick | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 9, 2011 | Go to article overview

Penn Hills Hopes to Save $3M in Bus Deal


Varine, Patrick, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Unless something changes, Faye Hudak and her husband will be out of work on June 30.

They are members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1552. Penn Hills school board members recently cut ties with the union in favor of First Student, Inc., an Ohio-based transportation service with branches throughout Pennsylvania.

"It's very devastating for me, because my husband is a (union) mechanic," said Hudak, a union driver. "So, we're both going to lose our health benefits. It's going to be a nightmare."

District officials said they needed the deal with First Student to balance the 2011-12 budget in the face of a $3.9 million reduction in state subsidies.

In several versions of a proposed district budget for the 2011- 12 school year, selling the district's bus fleet to First Student is estimated to bring in $1 million. District spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak said the fleet sale, combined with cost savings on fuel and maintenance, could save the district up to $3 million next year. Savings in subsequent years could be as much as $1 million each year.

Union attorney Robert Eberle has filed a petition on behalf of 75 drivers asking the state Labor Relations Board to appoint a fact- finder to review the school board's decision. …

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