To the Editor:
I am a bus driver. I drive both for the schools and the VTA. As we all know, VTA drivers are amazing. No matter what the weather or the hour, they show up for you. They make turns on roads that no one would think possible. They smile and laugh when the bus is packed sardine-full and 120° inside. They remember your name and will go out of their way to carry your groceries for you.
The drivers voted more than four years ago to form a union. Their goals are simple: safe buses, a living wage, and payment for their shifts from beginning to end. Games have been played by the administration, and now, after four long years, court rulings, and some less than honorable wheeling and dealing, the union is sitting at the table with the people who control the money at the VTA.
There are drivers who have not had a pay raise in more than 13 years. There are buses that are considered unhealthy for the driver. There are shifts that have no access to bathrooms for hours.
None of this is all right.
I ask you to do a few things to support your VTA drivers.
- Please tell them ‘Thank you’ and that you stand behind them.
- Please call your town rep — June Manning of Aquinnah, Leonard Lason of Chilmark, Louis Paciello of Edgartown, Alice Butler of Oak Bluffs, Elaine Miller of Tisbury, and John Alley of West Tisbury — and let them know that you want the negotiations to be timely, fair, and reasonable.
- Please call the VTA at 508-693-9440 and ask them to step up to the plate.
I have read the union proposal. It is making perfectly reasonable requests. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.