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Robbinsdale school board votes to privatize its bus fleet

  • March 6, 2012 - 9:06 PM

The Robbinsdale Area Schools board on Monday voted to privatize its bus fleet beginning July 1, a move school officials say will save about $1.4 million a year.

About 135 transportation employees are expected to be laid off as a result of the decision.

The district is considering contracting with First Student Inc., which has 21 transportation contracts with Minnesota schools. The board will consider adopting a contract with First Student on March 19.

The district also said First Student is interested in hiring some of the bus drivers who are let go because of the decision.

Members of the union that represents the Robbinsdale bus drivers have objected to the plan, saying a private company will pay lower wages and offer fewer benefits at more expensive prices.

Union officials say they are considering filing an unfair labor practice lawsuit as a result of the decision.

KIM MCGUIRE

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