Monthly Archives: August 2021

Charlottesville to study collective bargaining options

Charlottesville City Council has directed the city manager to pursue an ordinance to allow city employees to pursue entities to allow them to engage in collective bargaining. That’s not been possible until action by the General Assembly last year.  (read the bill)

At the public comment period earlier, bus driver Mary Pettis urged Council to proceed.

“I’ve driven the bus for 35 years in the City of Charlottesville and I’m here to ask you all to allow us to have a union because I feel it will help us,” Pettis said. “Help us get more things that we need. I personally had to move from Charlottesville to Waynesboro because I couldn’t afford to live in Charlottesville. I have three jobs because I don’t make enough money just driving the bus.”

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Albemarle to get funding for two electric school buses

Albemarle County will receive $530,000 from the state government to purchase two electric school buses. The funding comes from an environmental mitigation trust set up when the firm Volkswagen was caught lying about the ability of some of its engines to provide low emissions. Albemarle’s amount is part of a $10.5 million pay-out from the trust fund to replace 83 diesel school buses across Virginia. In all, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality administers over $93 million in the trust. 

“The Trust is the result of settlements resolving allegations that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act through the use of emission testing defeat devices designed to cheat on federal emissions tests,” reads a statement on the DEQ site. “Volkswagen sold more than 500,000 excessively polluting vehicles in the U.S. More than 16,000 were sold in Virginia, and produced over 2,000 tons of excess nitrogen oxides (NOx) in violation of federal pollution standards.”

Elsewhere in our area, Augusta County will receive $523,198 for two buses, and Culpeper County will receive $530,000. 

Friedman retiring from PVCC

Frank Friedman will retire as president of Piedmont Virginia Community College when the upcoming academic year ends next May. Friedman has been the president of PVCC since 1999 and is the fifth person to lead the institution since it was established in 1972. 

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president of PVCC,” Friedman said in a statement. “I have worked with the finest, most dedicated faculty and staff you will find anywhere. I am so proud that in the 23 years I have been president, over 150,000 students have received an accessible, affordable, high-quality education at PVCC.”

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