District: No busing Friday due to 'union labor issue'

Mayor says meeting planned with First Student today

By ALEX MALM
Posted 10/1/21

Parents of Warwick Public School students were surprised Friday morning when it was announced that there would be no bus services for the day.

“Unfortunately, First Student will be unable to …

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District: No busing Friday due to 'union labor issue'

Mayor says meeting planned with First Student today

Posted

Parents of Warwick Public School students were surprised Friday morning when it was announced that there would be no bus services for the day.

“Unfortunately, First Student will be unable to provide transportation services today, Friday Oct.1 , due to a union labor issue,” an email to parents from school officials stated. “High School buses have already been dispatched, but there will be no elementary or middle school busing this morning including small busses for special needs students.”

The email stated that there would be no afternoon pick up for all students. 

According to Catherine Bonang, executive assistant to the superintendent, 14 routes lacked either a bus driver or aid prompting the administration to cancel all busing today for safety reasons. 

The Warwick Public Schools has a contract with First Student to bus its students.

“I want to stress to you that this has nothing to do with either the school department or the city. Our school bus service is from a private company and the contract dispute is between the company and their employee's union,” Mayor Frank Picozzi wrote in a statement earlier today. “This stoppage seems to have been a last minute decision and no notice was given. The school department immediately started to deal with the situation and are still working on it. They will be meeting with the bus company later today and I plan to be there.”

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