Students best interest still focus of company

Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008

Your readers may have noted recent media coverage of ongoing communications with our local union and the possibility of a strike occurring. As the school bus service contractor for KPBSD since 1985, First Student takes very seriously its responsibility to transport students to and from school safely and reliably. Therefore, I write to offer all parents, students, First Student employees, and the peninsula community reassurance about the service First Student offers and our commitment to our employees.

We value our drivers, bus attendants and other employees, and we recognize the excellent work they do in getting your children safely to and from school. Due to their efforts, our company enjoys outstanding safety and maintenance records. In fact, First Student was recently recognized with an award for having one of the best maintained fleets in Alaska.

The next meeting proposed by the union is scheduled for Jan. 13. We look forward to this opportunity as we are committed to bargaining in good faith and striving to reach a reasonable and fair agreement. At First Student's request, a Federal Mediator has been asked to participate in negotiations.

Should workers choose to strike, contingency plans are well placed in order to maintain school bus operations. I personally hope talks will conclude quickly and favorably for both sides and allow us to continue to safely transport the child in the Kenai Peninsula community. Thank you.

Tom Hyatt

Regional Operations manager

First Student Inc.

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