Labor Union Contract Threatens Students' College Campus Tour

A tradition three decades in the making is in jeopardy.

By Steven Luke and R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013  |  Updated 12:14 PM PDT
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Union Contract Threatens Students' College Campus Tour

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For 29 years, students at San Diego High School have been loading into buses and taking a California college tour.

This year, however, a union contract is putting the brakes on the trip.

San Diego High School caters to students who don't come from privileged homes. The entire campus is on the free and reduced lunch program.

For many of these kids - this trip was the trip of a lifetime.

From USC to UC Santa Cruz - thousands of students can look back and say they took the college trip with Mr. Murphy.

History teacher Stan Murphy started it in the early 80's driving students himself the first two years.

It was an annual road trip that changed the course of history for countless students.

"There are so many stories I could tell you about students who didn't think they wanted to go to college and all of a sudden they saw someplace they wanted to go," Murphy said.

This year 11th graders aren't going anywhere at least with their teachers.

That's because, as detailed in a recent district memo, the collective bargaining agreement with the labor union representing bus drivers restricts any outsourcing to charter bus services.

“It never bothered them before that we had these trips with charter buses, but the district has been cutting back on the number of drivers they have, the buses they have."

Murphy says comfort aside, the 5-day trip just isn't logistically possible on traditional buses.

It broke his heart to tell near 100 kids who'd worked hard and counted on this reward that it wasn't going to happen.

"This is a case where I think the policy is getting in the way of what’s best for students and our school," Murphy said.

The district wants to re-write the contract to allow for this trip and is hoping the union will work with them to make that happen.

The clock however is ticking as the trip is scheduled for April.
 

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