In a rare outcome at the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration, a panel has issued an award which allowed the Plainfield Board of Education (“Board”) to subcontract all 47 positions in its bus drivers union. The Board was represented by David Ryan of Ryan & Ryan, LLC.
Like many Connecticut municipalities, Plainfield faced severe economic difficulties, including prolonged decline in tax revenue, unfunded pension liabilities, and rising unemployment. In addition, the Board faced difficult budgetary constraints, especially with regard to transportation. As a result, the Board looked into outsourcing its busing function in order to achieve substantial monetary savings. Attorney David Ryan represented the Board in what were contentious negotiations and in the subsequent arbitration before the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration. There were twenty-two issues in dispute. In its statement of last best offer, the Board submitted language granting to the Board the sole and exclusive right to subcontract the work of the bargaining unit.
Attorney Ryan demonstrated a multitude of benefits to outsourcing the Board’s transportation function, including a 10% savings on the $2.6 million budgeted for transportation, as well as an additional 12-14% savings in fuel costs; increased student safety; and a more reliable bus fleet.
The Panel awarded the Board’s language. The award marks one of four subcontracting awards in Connecticut history which granted the right to outsource a bargaining unit in its entirety. Since the award, two other Boards of Education have retained Attorney David Ryan to assist them with subcontracting and privatization issues.
If you have any questions, please contact Attorney David Ryan at (860) 460-7139.