Bus Drivers Push For Better Contract
They are in the driver's seat, but feel like they have lost control of their jobs.
Gainesville's contract with the union representing Regional Transit System bus drivers and mechanics is up for negotiation.
Some say RTS bus drivers are overworked and underpaid.
Florida AFL-CIO Coordinator Dave Schneider says mandatory overtime is wrong.
"No one should have to be forced to work fifty or sixty hours a week and then be penalized if they have to go pick up their kids from school and are not able to work those extra hours," he said.
The city's contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union representing RTS bus drivers and mechanics is under debate, with Schneider and other groups calling on the city to make changes.
"We want you to meet with the ATU's demands, we want you to negotiate in good faith, and we want an end to things like forced overtime and no raises," he said.
Schneider says they haven't gotten a raise since 2009, when they received 12-cents.
"People really need to realize, this is not just about unions, this is a matter of public safety and workers rights and the rights of working families in the state of Florida," he said.
Schneider says he and others will be sitting in on the public negotiations which begin on April 3.
City leaders told TV20 they could not comment for this report because they are in contract negotiations with the union.
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