Monday, September 26, 2011

Apparently the Homies are not fit to be District 150 bus drivers

On any given day, drive through town and you will see hundreds of people wandering the streets, out of work. Many of these people are graduates of District 150 schools. None of these people are fit to drive a school bus for District 150. Apparently the bus driver pool here in P-Town is so low, the District has to bus bus drivers into our City.

Interesting concept, will these bus drivers live in Peoria for the term of their contract (90 days)? Who will pay for their room and board? I suppose if First Student is getting $280 per day, per bus driver, they can afford to pay the drivers a decent enough salary to leave their homes (and family) and come to Peoria. Something about this is just not right...

District starts contracted bus drivers a week early
Immediate busing needs have prompted Peoria District 150 to enter into an agreement with a private contractor one week before originally announced.

First Student — based in Naperville with a facility on Airport Road — began providing drivers for District 150 buses on Sept. 20, about a week ahead of Monday’s originally agreed-upon start. According to Bob Rutkowski, area general manager for First Student, 12 drivers have come to Peoria from out of the area with more on the way.

“We are currently running 12 routes for District 150,” Rutkowski said Monday. “And they have asked us to take an additional five (routes) starting next week.”

Although no signed contract is currently in place, District 150 comptroller Dave Kinney said the District is asking First Student for a contract of 90 calendar days (58 school days). The school district has agreed to pay $280 per day per driver.

At the start of this school year, District 150 reduced its bus routes in a plan that estimated savings at more than $600,000. Source


Anonymous said...

I believe the biggest obstacle (besides any priors) is "the cup" - you know - the one teachers would have a fit about also. But then, they don't transport students - only educate them.

shay said...

Isn't legal blood alcohol content for CDL driver .02%? So a 200 pound man better only drink a single 7 ounce beer with his meaol if he's driving. You've gotta pay for those tests and they're not easy, I'm told. Gotta pay for and pass the physical exam, too.

In addition to the driver's pay and room and board, does that include the bus? The licenses, the insurance in case of accidents? The fuel?

shay said...

from re-reading, I guess we buy the gas and provide the vehicles, they're registered and plated under district 150 most likely, so 150 would probably be named as one of the responsible parties should any incidents occur, I'm guessing since they initiated and entered into this contract.

Sharon Crews said...

Some of you seem to be making assumptions about male bus drivers--most at the meeting were women.

The bus drivers were out in full force tonight at the BOE meeting. I certainly expressed my support of them as did Terry Knapp. Bobby Darling spoke--mostly to disagree with Terry who had questioned why MHS and PHS students and fans have been singled out at footgames by being separarted by barricades (many bus drivers stook up and cheered)--and did not say one word in support of the bus drivers. Lyneete Lee, the president of the transportation union, spoke very well as usual--claimed that Lathan refuses to sit at the table to negotiate and doesn't answer e-mails.
I was appalled when Lathan then responded by blatantly blaming the drivers for all the transportation problems.
At the end of the meeting, the board was discussing the strong possibility that they will be holding regular meetings only once a month and the committee of the whole once a month.

Mahkno said...

Get rid of the District 150 bus system entirely. Let the kids have passes for the Citilink and install bicycle racks.

Sharon Crews said...

Mahkno, high school kids aren't the only ones who ride buses, so do little kids. Because so many schools have been closed, it isn't the fault of families that their children have to go so far to get to school--many might well have to transfer buses to get to school.

Anonymous said...

So are union drivers causing disruptions and reducing service levels as a negotiating tactic? Unions have shown that as "past practice" ya'know. District contracts out so union retaliates to make it worse and the students suffer - more. I say if the monitor the first student runs and they execute them properly and on time - bring'em in PERMANENTLY!! Replace what doesn't (or won't) work with what does. They should also provide a "fair" opportunity for cafeteria workers to internalize food service - but the one issue they have trouble with is maintaining service levels (Quality) in a world of rising food costs. Board is supposed to survey customer satisfaction again - last one showed majority was happy with outside company. It should be about the kids - not union demands. Unfortunately it usually isn't.

Anonymous said...

S/b "they monitor First Student (the company).........

Anonymous said...

Emerge - are you aware of any applicants who were denied @ 150 that were able to be hired by First Student?

Sharon Crews said...

Obviously transportation will be better because more buses and drivers will be added to the current 150 drivers and buses.

I guess union bashers will always find a way to support management and to blame the workers. The problems at the beginning of the year were the result of management's decision to make kids walk farther to get on the buses. Closing schools has resulted in more kids riding buses. Last year the problems were caused by the 3 bell schedules--turnaround time for buses was very short.

Of course, the other problem is that drivers could not be found--and that's the part that may or may not be manipulated in some way by management.

Does anyone remember whether or not major problems existed before Mendoza came to town?

I have great respect for Lynette Lee, the union president. She is really a good person and represents her union well.

Emerge Peoria said...

Anonymous said...
"Emerge - are you aware of any applicants who were denied @ 150 that were able to be hired by First Student?"

Ummm ... huh?

Anonymous said...

I think the question was if someone applied but was rejected by the district -but subsequently hired by First Student, it would show a bias by 150. Sharon - where did the phrase "throw a wrench in it" originate? Oh, and heaven forbid kids have to walk a couple blocks longer when most would like to see a retuen to neighborhood schools where they would most likely have to walk longer still. I don't bash unions but have little tolerance for those who blindly support them.

Sharon Crews said...

Anonymous, I don't know about wrenches, but you seem to have an ax to grind with me. :) What are you talking about--walking a couple of blocks longer? If there were a return to neighborhood schools, then you could complain about students not willing to walk a couple of blocks longer. However, we don't have neighborhood schools, so there is no use discussing that situation.
I don't think anyone was as concerned about the length of the walk to the buses, but more about the safety in that younger kids had to cross busy streets to get to the "new" District 150 money-saving stops--and in the dark.
So when don't you bash unions--under what circumstances do you think unions are necessary? I certainly believe that administrators should be able to get rid of bad teachers--and everything is in place so that they can.
However, administrators have to do their jobs to document reasons for declaring a teacher a bad teacher. They can't just get angry one day and decide the teacher has to go.
I know of two very recent situations where two teachers were given satisfactory evaluations for 2 or more years, and then District 150 tried to fire both of them with no warning. Both situations were resolved--one with a negotiated retirement and one back to the classroom. Next time maybe the administrator will take proper and fair precautions.
The important thing is that there be a balance between administration and teachers so that both have rights and responsibilities--unions should help to maintain that balance; otherwise, we all know management will take the upperhand--and I have to admit unions can do that, too.
However, making blanket statements about me blindly backing unions is absurd. First of all, I have no power whatsoever, so my support or lack of support is just verbal with no power behind my words. Except when I go to the ballot box--then you and I have the same power.

Anonymous said...

"They should also provide a "fair" opportunity for cafeteria workers to internalize food service - but the one issue they have trouble with is maintaining service levels (Quality) in a world of rising food costs. Board is supposed to survey customer satisfaction again - last one showed majority was happy with outside company. It should be about the kids - not union demands. " You are right,'s not about the kids...but not in the way you suggest.

The amount of food that is thrown out twice a day...well, 3 when they get their snack, also...from a canned food service company. Watered-down everything from cheese to gravy to mashed potatoes. That did not happen when the high schools cooked the food.

Breakfasts consisting mostly of sweetened cereal in a small little container they dump their milk into, or a piece of raisin bread and cream cheese, or a "super donut" that does not even get opened. Major, major trash...our students deserve better. Our families deserve better.

The survey will go to a select group who will respond according to D150's wishes. Food companies should have been banned after the first year...go back to real food.

None of it is about a's about a district that does not put the child first.

Sharon Crews said...

Last Anonymous, you are so right. The quality of food now is absolutely no comparison to the food that was prepared in-house. We all used to look forward to those meals--Thanksgiving feast, wonderful chicken noodles, great home made pastries.
Yes, kids throw away much of the food that they get now--the children who come to my house after school tell me what they throw away and see others throwing away--can't say that I blame them. The last ten years of teachers and students have no idea what wonderful meals used to be served in our cafeterias.
Besides that the cafeteria workers really took pride in fixing meals that everyone loved. If government money is being spent on food, it might as well be worth eating.