Management

Some Kansas School Bus Drivers Seek Unemployment Benefits

Sadiah Thompson
Posted on February 20, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. — Contracted school bus drivers here are asking lawmakers to approve legislation that would make them eligible to receive unemployment benefits during the summer months when school is not in session.

The drivers from Teamsters Locals 838, 696, and 795 went to the state Capitol on Monday to lobby on behalf of Senate Bill 38 and House Bill 2315, legislation that would extend unemployment insurance (UI) to school bus drivers employed by private contractors during the summer months, according to a news release from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

“This legislation will improve equity, safety, and retention in the school bus industry,” said Matt Hall, secretary, treasurer, and business agent for Teamsters Local 696. “Other seasonal workers in Kansas, including bus monitors, are able to collect UI. There’s no reason school bus drivers should be exempt.”

The drivers were joined by Gov. Laura Kelly, Kansas Secretary of Labor Delia Garcia, Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, and Sen. Anthony Hensley in their support for the two bills. Kelly addressed a delegation of drivers regarding the importance of passing the legislation.

“Just because you’re not driving in June and July doesn’t diminish the fact that you need to be there in August, so we’ve got to figure out a way to make this happen,” Kelly said.

As SBF previously reported in 2015, school bus drivers had asked state legislators to support a similar bill that would allow them to collect unemployment benefits. Senate Bill 3, which was sponsored by Sen. Faust-Godeau, would have removed language from the state's current unemployment law that makes privately contracted bus drivers ineligible for benefits between school years. However, the bill died in the state Senate, according to the state’s legislative website.

Related Topics: Kansas, legal issues

Sadiah Thompson Assistant Editor
Comments ( 2 )
  • New driver

     | about 2 months ago

    I sure hope something is done. I'm a single mother that just went through my training and testing. I'm scrambling for a second job in summer since I clearly couldn't save through out the year. This is very hard...

  • See all comments
More Stories
As part of an initiative to cut down on idling time, GO Riteway had T-shirts made for its drivers with a safety message on the front and “No Idling” on the back as a reminder.
Article

Going Beyond Alt-Fuel Buses to Go Green

Minimizing idling, maximizing tires and fuel, and recycling some shop supplies are inexpensive green strategies that transportation departments can easily implement at their operations.

File photo courtesy Newport Mesa (Calif.) USD
Article

20 Questions (and Answers) on MAP-21

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act includes new transportation regulations that will soon impact training requirements for school bus drivers, with a compliance deadline of Feb. 7, 2020. Here, School Bus Safety Co. shares responses to common questions.

The Propane Education and Research Council’s Volkswagen Trust Resource Center provides information about propane school buses and includes a state-by-state map with details on how to apply for Volkswagen settlement funds. File photo courtesy IC Bus
News

Propane Council Launches VW Funds Resource Center

The Propane Education and Research Council’s Volkswagen Trust Resource Center provides information on propane school buses and includes a state-by-state map with details on how to apply for Volkswagen settlement funds.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!