School Bus file photo by Simon Crouch.

School Bus Operator Seeks Funding Solution

The president of Ontario’s Independent School Bus Operators Association wants a long-term solution to paying school bus drivers a fair wage.

Steve Hull, the owner of Hull Bus Lines in Petrolia, says on average drivers get paid a few dollars more an hour than the minimum wage, but that may change if provincial funding doesn’t increase.

He says because of the wage hike, it will be difficult attracting new drivers to the position.

“There used to be compression between the minimum wage and what a school bus driver makes,” says Hull. “It’s a bit of an insult that they’ve been told that what they’re doing is a minimum wage job, and I suspect that people will take a look at the responsibility and the wage and think ‘there’s other things out there that I can be doing.'”

In December, the Ontario Liberals pledged $60-million to keep drivers on-board, however the government has already said they won’t be increasing funding to cover the minimum wage hike.

The School Bus Operators Association is currently working with the province on a new funding formula.