In a recent decision the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration acknowledged the enforceability of a provision of a school district’s contract with a transportation provider, which allowed for a bus driver to be removed at the request of the school district.

The school district transportation coordinator had requested that a bus driver be removed following a comment the driver had made in the presence of other drivers. This request was based on a provision in the contract between the school district and the bus company that allowed the school district to have a bus driver removed upon request. The bus company then transferred the driver to another school district. The Union filed a grievance and claimed that the employer’s investigation was not sufficient.

The bus company pointed to a provision in the collective bargaining agreement which stated that “if the Company is required to remove a driver from a route at the School District’s request, the Company agrees to discuss the matter with the School District…to attempt to adjust or resolve the issue.”

The arbitration panel found that the bus company had met its obligations when it transferred the driver to another school district. “The company had no discretion to refuse the school board’s request for the grievant’s removal,” wrote the panel in its dismissal of the grievance.