School bus strike averted in Framingham, negotiations continue in Westboro

FRAMINGHAM — A school bus driver strike was averted Sunday evening in Framingham and Westboro, but the union confirmed it is still going on in Marlboro.

Bus drivers in Framingham, Marlboro and Westboro have been at odds with their employer, NRT Bus Company, for days. The two sides are negotiating better pay for drivers, leaving three school districts and students at risk of losing transportation. On Sunday evening, Framingham Mayor Charlie Czydski interrupted a planned press conference to announce a deal.

“Thousands of students could have been out of school for as long as the strike could have lasted,” said Framingham Public Schools Superintendent Robert Tremblay. And action may have been taken from there. Luckily, in real time, it wasn’t like that because we understood it and heard it all together. But we were prepared for the worst. And, the best ones pay off.”

Teamsters Union Local 170 said Sunday night that Marlboro and Westboro were still negotiating a new contract and bus drivers planned to strike in Marlboro.

“Bus drivers have to pay attention at all times,” Teamsters officer Jim Marks said. “They have some of the most precious inventory that we have, our own children, our loved ones. So we’re dedicated to getting it done, we’re dedicated to being here, hopefully the NRT is.”

The NRT also released a statement saying, “The focus has now shifted to the Marlborough and Westborough contracts, where the dedicated NRT team can focus on their number one priority: getting children to and from school safely every day.”

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