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First union contract for more than 300 workers at Medford bus company

Five-year Teamsters pact covers workers transporting children for the South Country and Longwood districts. 

More than 300 school bus drivers, monitors, mechanics and other employees of East End Bus Lines Inc. in Medford have their first union contract, officials said Friday.

By a more than 4-to-1 margin, the workers ratified a five-year contract negotiated on their behalf by Local 1205 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The workers transport children for the South Country and Longwood school districts in Brookhaven Town.

Local 1205 vice president Gary Kumpa said the East End Bus employees are the latest to join the union, which has added about 500 members in the past year. The contract talks spanned 14 months.

“This has been a battle since Day 1, but this victory continues our strong momentum,” he said.

East End owner John Mensch said, “We actually came to a real good contract for the employees. I’m happy with it, the union is happy with it . . . We think it’s really going to help our service and the outlook of the company.”

Mensch also said many of his 1,600 employees are represented by unions. He owns Montauk Student Transport LLC as well.

The five-year contract negotiated with Local 1205 calls for wages to increase between 2 percent and 7 percent in the first year, depending on pay and job title. Increases of 2 percent will follow in each of the next four years.

The affected workers also will participate in the Teamsters’ 401(k) retirement plan and medical insurance with an employer contribution each year, according to a union spokesman.

Lori Rizzitano, an employee for nine years and a union activist, said the Teamsters have been working to organize the East End Bus workers for three years. “The whole thing was hard, but in the end we got the justice we deserve.”

Local 1205 rents space in its Farmingdale office to Local 406 of the Teamsters, which represents journalists and others at Newsday and amNewYork.

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