Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BRATTLEBORO — A strike was averted after school bus drivers for the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union found proposed contract terms to be favorable.

Curtis Clough, president of Teamsters Local 597, said he met with the drivers Wednesday morning.

“They are good with the company offer,” Clough said. “The buses will be running tomorrow.”

Via email Tuesday, Superintendent Mark Speno warned families of the potential strike. He said the bus company was in the process of developing contingency plans in the event that a deal is not reached by Thursday.

It was likely that the contingency plan would include condensed routes with a reduction in the number of buses and changes to bus stops, according to the email.

“We are anticipating that the contingency plan will cause delays, we are cognizant of this and students affected by this will not be marked tardy or late to school,” Speno wrote.

Clough previously told the Reformer the union had been in negotiations since spring but because the bus company F.M. Kuzmeskus was purchased by Beacon Mobility, “that definitely threw a wrench in negotiations.”

“Travel Kuz is a family-run company that is dedicated to supporting our students, districts and employees to provide reliable transportation services in Vermont and we will continue conversations in good faith as scheduled with the Teamsters,” Tim Sheehan, spokesman for Travel Kuz, which is located in Gill, Mass., and operates school buses under the F.M. Kuzmeskus label, previously said.

The drivers were looking for competitive wages, continued access for all the members to union health care insurance, at least a three-year contract and some contributions to their retirement funds.

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

“We ended up getting pretty much everything that we were looking for,” Clough said. “Some of it’s going to kind of sugar into the contract over the next couple of years.”

Clough said the deal will keep the drivers on the union’s health care insurance and allow coverage for their family members, and increase hourly compensation by about 19 to 25 percent over the course of the contract, which will expire in two-and-a-half years. Hourly contributions will be made to their retirement funds, and pay raises of about 13 percent will be provided retroactively starting from Sept. 1.

A straw poll Wednesday, in which the majority of drivers agreed to the terms, ensured the buses would run the next day when the decision is expected to be ratified.

“I feel like it’s a good strong contract with some solid enhancements for the group,” Clough said.

Beacon Mobility, with buses still labeled F. M. Kuzmeskus, provides service to students in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Vernon, Putney and Guilford. In September, Beacon Mobility, out of Southborough, Mass., announced Travel Kuz as its sixth Massachusetts transportation company and 13th company nationwide “to join the growing Beacon Mobility family.”

Beacon’s companies include, in Massachusetts, Van Pool, NRT Bus, Salter Transportation, Trombly Motor Coach and JYL Transportation. It also includes companies in New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey.

Speno said it’s too early to say how the new contracts will affect the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union.

“It sounds like positive news,” he said, “but I haven’t heard an update from Kuzmeskus yet.”

A representative from Travel Kuz declined to comment on the tentative deal.