Herald and Journal, February 8, 1999

HLWW bus drivers join union

By Konrad Stroh
Local 284 SEIU Representative

Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted ISD 2687 bus drivers decided to seek out professional help when dealing with the district's administration in February 1997.

They were getting nowhere with school board representatives in negotiations. It was a take-it-or-leave-it game that the district was playing with these hard working and dedicated employees.

SEIU Local 284, out of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was contacted to come out and discuss with the bus drivers what it means to be with a union and what SEIU Local 284 had to offer.

The drivers signed membership cards as required by the Bureau of Mediation Services. SEIU Local 284 filed a petition with the BMS Feb. 2, 1997. The Maintenance of Status Quo Order from the BMS was mailed out to the employer and SEIU Local 284 Feb. 2, 1997. Ballots were mailed out and an election was held. The ballot count was March 25, 1997. The bus drivers of ISD 2687 voted overwhelmingly to have SEIU Local 284 as their representative.

Now their work was cut out. They had to draft up a first contract proposal and submit it to the district to start the process of negotiations for a contract.

Through many night meetings with school board representatives, the SEIU Local 284 team and the district hammered out their first contract. The membership of this unit voted Nov. 23, 1998 to accept a tentative contract agreement.

The bus drivers now have a union that will represent them as employees of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted ISD 2687 system.

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