Saturday, March 3, 2012

Perils of outsourcing bus drivers

Earlier this week I wrote and sent the following commentary to District 281 school board members regarding their upcoming vote on whether to outsource the school busing to a large company called First Student. It seems that through outsourcing we are rapidly losing our country's middle class.

Two thumbs down for a proposal being considered by the Robbinsdale School District to privatize busing.  Such a proposed cost saving would help to shrink an already endangered working middle class. Let’s consider, from whose pocket will the potential $1.4 million in cost cutting come? It would be the bus drivers and mechanics losing benefits and job security.

So what, you might ask.

It is the drivers that both help our kids start and end their school days on a positive note. Outsourcing and the related cutting of benefits will only add stress to the challenging job of our school bus drivers.  I don’t think it serves us well to add more stress to the lives of those whom we entrust to drive our community’s most precious cargo. As a parent in the Robbinsdale School District I’ve been impressed with the quality of bus drivers, who have been friendly, prompt, reliable and safe.

I hope that the school district will maintain their outstanding crew of drivers and refrain from the cheaper alternative of outsourcing to a large private company.  There is a significant price to be paid for such cost savings, both by our drivers, their families and our children. Let’s not throw our children’s drivers under the bus.

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