Bus Drivers End Strike in Boston

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School buses in Boston were rolling last week after bus drivers agreed to end their 31-day strike and restore transportation for the district's 27,000 students.

The drivers agreed to enter binding arbitration with the bus companies that hold the city's student-transportation contracts, but the arbitration is limited to economic issues.

Union members first rejected an offer by the Boston School Committee for binding arbitration, then later reversed their decision. Committee members, however, then placed restrictions on the arbitration, limiting it to selected issues such as wages, guaranteed minimum hours, health insurance, and pensions.

Bus drivers will have to accept the companies' Oct. 4 offer on all other issues, including work rules, a no-strike provision, and management-rights provisions.

School-committee members have said that this is the last private contract for bus drivers the city will negotiate. After the new contract expires, the school system plans to hire its own drivers, who as public employees will be prohibited by state law from striking.

Ian Forman, a spokesman for the district, said busing had gone "smoothly" during the first days after the strike.

Thomas Mela, a lawyer representing special-needs pupils in Boston, said last week he planned to seek monetary compensation for the educational losses suffered by such children. Mr. Mela said the parents of special-needs students still had not received $1 million in compensation from the district that was awarded them after a bus drivers' strike in January 1986.

Job Action Ended

In Los Angeles, meanwhile, teachers have ended a four-week boycott of all unpaid before- and after-school activities, after reaching a tentative contract settlement with the school district.

Wayne Johnson, president of United Teachers of Los Angeles, said members were scheduled to vote this week on a contract that includes a 5 percent salary increase and a 40 percent reduction in required meetings.

He said the boycott of all extra activities, including faculty meetings, had been effective in pressuring the district to raise its original offer of a 4 percent increase.

Vol. 07, Issue 07

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