The Derry School District has a contingency plan in the event that striking First Student bus drivers come to Derry.
Derry Superintendent Dr. Laura Nelson wrote in a memo Monday that the company’s Belmont drivers are involved in a contract dispute and were scheduled to meet Monday night to vote on a strike. Nelson said if the drivers vote to strike, there is a possibility they may set up picket lines at other First Student locations, including the terminal that serves Derry. Nelson wrote that the local First Student drivers would not cross the picket lines.
Should the drivers strike and should they picket in Derry, Nelson said the following accommodations would go into place:
Middle-schools will be open for student drop-off at 6:30 a.m. and will offer student supervision until 5 p.m.
Elementary schools will be open for student drop-off at 7 a.m. and will remain open with student supervision until 5 p.m.
School principals will change the drop-off and pick-up patterns to create efficiencies. Parents will receive new traffic pattern information from principals.
Nelson wrote, “We hope this will alleviate some pressure on parents with no alternative” and that she was grateful to the support and professional staff who agreed to help.
First Student is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and according to its Web site it has 57,000 employees; 47,000 buses; drives 600 million miles a year; makes 6 million student trips a year; and covers 1,200 school districts in 39 states and seven Canadian provinces.
Teamsters Local 633, the union representing the 850 First Student drivers in New Hampshire, issued a notice early in November that a strike was possible in Belmont. The Belmont drivers are currently in negotiations and are at odds regarding retirement funding.