ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) recently issued a response to a statement from the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
The TTD's statement contained "reckless characterizations of the industry and of private contractors," according to NSTA.
The claims made in the statement from TTD that were countered by NSTA's statement include a complaint that contractors are not covered by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and oversight. "In fact, contractors and their employees ARE covered by these agencies, and NSTA has long advocated for equal standards for all school transportation operations," NSTA's statement said.
NSTA's statement also noted that the association has worked for better emissions standards for the school bus industry and that privatizing school transportation often allows districts to convert to newer, cleaner buses.
The statement also addressed TTD's assertions about unemployment insurance benefits, criminal background checks, and special-needs transportation training for school bus drivers.
School bus contractors have been in the forefront of safety efforts in the industry in recent years. "[NSTA members] know that their employees are their most valuable resource, and that the difference between a successful school bus company and an unsuccessful one is the company’s workforce," according to NSTA.
To read the statement from TTD, click here.
To read the full statement from NSTA, click here.