District 118 to find way to pay bus drivers

Alicia Geddis

DANVILLE — Danville District 118 school board members will meet via teleconference today to consider how to provide financial support to the district’s school bus drivers while schools statewide are closed due to COVID-19.

The board is expected to ask Superintendent Alicia Geddis to lead the negotiations for an addendum to an agreement with the district’s transportation provider, First Student.

First Student employees ratified a three-year contract in October 2017 that was negotiated between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 26 in Champaign — which represents 85 school bus drivers, 30-35 monitors and a couple of mechanics at First Student’s Danville site — and First Student’s parent company in Cincinnati. The current contract extends through Aug. 15, 2020.

Due to the closure of schools statewide, the state has directed school districts to financially support school bus drivers for the time being.

“The Illinois State Board of Education has asked us to work out how to pay our bus drivers,” Geddis said Monday. “We’re supposed to enter into an addendum.

“I will be trying to get a look at their payroll,” she said.

Although the board is meeting via teleconference, the board will still accept public comments during the meeting. The comments, however, must be submitted by email.

To participate during the public comment portion of the meeting, questions or comments must be emailed to d118publiccomments@danville118.org before the start of the meeting at 3 p.m. today.

All public comments will be read out loud during the public comment portion of the meeting.

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