Bus drivers offered deal that would end shortage at William Floyd schools

Posted: Updated:
SHIRLEY -

An offer is on the table that could end the school bus driver shortage that is threatening William Floyd schools.

News 12 reported that the problem began at the end of July when East End Bus Lines told Superintendent Kevin Coster they needed $16.5 million more over the next three years or they wouldn't be able to fulfill their contract.

Two weeks ago, Coster says the Board of Education awarded a new transportation contract to Acme Bus Corp. / Baumann Bus Company – leaving dozens of drivers with East End out of jobs and the district short 70 drivers.

Operating Officer Lori Baumann says they are offering East End drivers a $1,500, bonus, plus another $600 after 12 weeks on the job. There is also a $1,000 bonus for referrals and no probationary period.

In addition to all the financial perks, students may see the same bus driver as last year because the new company is letting drivers pick their routes.

“The large-bus drivers, if they start with us on the first day of school, they will be able to pick within their seniority what routes they want to drive,” said Baumann.

Baumann says she struck the deal with the Teamsters 1205, which represents the drivers.

Some East End bus drivers who spoke with News 12 say the proposal falls flat.

"$1,500 won't make up for losing all the days we get paid for, the days we're guaranteed," says Kathleen Pearsall.

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