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Privatized: Plymouth-Canton Schools' Bus Services

School board makes a 5-2 vote to approve 3-year contract. Drivers and bus aides may reapply for their jobs.

The board of education for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools has agreed, in a 5-2 vote, to privatize transportation services.

This means the board will no longer negotiate with the transportation union, which represents 150 general and special education drivers, as well as bus monitor employees.

Several of the union members left the meeting in tears. School board officials said during the meeting that the move will save the district about 57 percent of current costs.

The board approved a 3-year agreement with Michigan Educational Transportation Services. Negotiations ended with the union on Friday, said interim superintendent Jeremy Hughes. The district spent $8 million for transportation services during the last school year.

The district's contract with the drivers and monitors ended on June 30. Drivers and bus aides may reapply for their jobs, but will likely lose both medical and retirement benefits, said union steward William Barber.

The school district's $162 million budget includes a deficit of $11 million.

Check back on this page for details of Tuesday's school board meeting.

jones July 23, 2011 at 03:14 PM
well I loved our bus driver too. I also knew his name and trusted him with my most precious thing,my daughter. However, I think it is crazy to ASSUME that the new company will have a bunch of CRAZY non Trustworthy people working for them.Yes, there will be a learning curve on the routes as they are not familiar with some of the areas but when our regular bus driver was not driving the subs were always late and carrying "Mapquest" directions and how is this different! I agree that I would rather have the PCCS drivers, however I think that we shouldn't protest a change without seeing how it works for a week or so of school. The new company could be great too.
Darken July 28, 2011 at 09:12 AM
Not just the responsibility of the vehicles and drivers, they will actually be adding to the cost for residents with the hike in the fuel prices. The fuel will now have to be paid for by the privatized company, and this means TAXES on the fuel, which the district did NOT have to pay. This means more taxes for those of us who live in the district. Please, all drivers and monitors, file for your rightful unemployment benefits, if nothing else, the state owes you that much. Your own pay goes into the funds for that, don't let them lie to you and say that the employer pays it in full, that's BS, I work in HR and I know where and who the funds come from.
Darken July 30, 2011 at 07:56 AM
Robin, I am sorry to tell you, but with the vote, you were fired. You have the option to "apply" for a position in the new company with no guarantees that you will be hired. I am deeply sorry that this has happened, I am personally ashamed of my fellow citizens that this was allowed to happen. I don't know what else to say other than I appreciated the driver that took my child to and from school, and I regret the decision of the school board and the state that this has become an issue. Those of us that are residents in Plymouth-Canton, we make enough money to fund teachers, bussing, custodial, food service, I cannot fathom why this is happening, other than those that have purchased a house in the area without being able to furnish the home, fund the schools, fire and police departments fully, do not wish to pay any more in taxes. I personally think that if you can't afford to live here and pay for your community services, move - move to Detroit, move out of state, get the dickens out of here, because if you don't support your community whole heartedly, you DO NOT deserve to live here.
TJP1071 August 01, 2011 at 04:34 PM
My daughters PCCS bus driver was not the best. We had issues all year long and the snotty comments that my children heard her say were uncalled for. She broke rules and did whatever she wanted. Called parents snotty names and treated the students like she was in middle school herself. Left the school before the shuttle she had students to pick up even got there.....left my child 3 times without a ride home this past year alone. Not unhappy that she will be gone. Unions do not have a place in modern society.
MR. VALENTINE GRANOWICZ September 07, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Bruce Koldys has hit the nail on the head. I agree with him and it is sad that the school board has gotten away with this move. Nobody's job is safe any more.

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