The largest union representing school bus drivers in Ontario will be in Peterborough on Tuesday (May 28) to protest the way school bus contracts are awarded in Ontario.
In a media release, Unifor claims the process for awarding school bus contracts creates driver shortages and instability.
“There are fundamental issues with the way that school bus contracts are awarded and administered across the province,” states Unifor’s Ontario regional director Naureen Rizvi.
“If the government fails to address this problem, the chaos that drivers, students, parents, and school boards have experienced over the past few years will continue as contracts are flipped from operator to operator leading to decreased safety standards, low wages, and insufficient staffing to cover routes.”
According to the media release, the protest will depart from Pickering at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and will arrive at Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario (885 Clonsilla Ave, Peterborough) at 10:30 a.m. The protest will then proceed to the office of Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith (Unit 4, 1123 Water St., Peterborough).
“Drivers are a very important part of the education system and should not be taken for granted,” says Unifor Local 4268 president Debbie Montgomery. “As frontline workers our drivers are warning the government and the public about an ongoing crisis in the industry that is and will continue to negatively impact the children of Ontario.”
Earlier this month, school bus drivers represented by Unifor who work at Stock Transportation in Toronto ratified a new three-year collective agreement, avoiding a strike that would have affected more than 8,000 students.