Bus drivers threatening to go on strike next week, potentially stranding North Hills students

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Bus drivers who transport students in the North Hills School District are threatening to go on strike next week.

“The time has come. They are not offering a fair offer and we’re recommending a ‘no’ vote,” said president of Teamsters Local 249 Kevin Schmitt. “They offered our people 2%”

Schmitt said ABC Transit, which employs the drivers and has the contract with the North Hills School District, agreed to a 3.5% increase over the next four years with a fuel surcharge built into the deal. He said the bonuses offered for drivers right now are also unrealistic.

“The bonuses are for attendance and safety. They are combining the two to make it impossible. They’re mixing them both in. If the driver calls off for one day, they will be ineligible if they call off,” Schmitt said.

He said they’re still in desperate need for drivers even while these negotiations are stalling.

Channel 11 reached out to ABC Transit, but they did not respond to our request for comment. An attorney representing ABC Transit said he would get back to us.

There are 4,600 students in the district and 94% of them ride the bus each day. District officials sent Channel 11 a statement:

“We are awaiting news from ABC Transit regarding ongoing negotiations with union representation for a new contract for NHSD drivers. While we are hopeful an agreement will be reached, we must also be realistic and caution our families that a strike authorization is possible and transportation services could be interrupted beginning early next month.”