Cuyahoga Falls City Schools works with Local 1 to keep bus drivers working, students safe

Cuyahoga Falls City Schools works with Local 1 to keep bus drivers working, students safe

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Teachers aren’t the only ones who have a much different job description this fall. Food service workers, janitors and bus drivers all being asked to adjust.

At Cuyahoga Falls City Schools they started running routes for career-tech and special-need students in the district this week, and students from non-public area schools.

SEIU Local 1, worked with the district to find work for all the drivers while they wait for the rest of the students who’ll will be in the school buildings starting Sept. 28.

“They are letting everybody work. So right now even though they’re not on a bus to go to school, they are putting two people on a bus, and giving them different jobs so that they are getting a pay check,” said senior driver, Paula Arriaga.

“None of our staff has been furloughed. They are key members of our team, whom we value. And, good bus drivers are hard to find,” said Dr. Todd M. Nichols, district Superintendent.

They’re doubling up drivers, so one can help with masking, sanitation, social distancing and other new protocols, and the other can focus on driving.

“That second person on that bus, I’ll be honest with you, is a godsend,” Arriaga said.

“By having teams travel with small groups of students, we are allowing both staff and students to become comfortable with our safety protocols,” said Nichols.

How are districts that are doing distance learning making use of their bus drivers? SEIU Local 1 worked with @CuyahogaFallsCitySchools to keep all of them employed. Cleveland 19 News at 5.

Posted by Jen Picciano Cleveland 19 on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The rest of those drivers who are not working on a route now will clean the warehouse, the kitchens and even paint for the time being so that they can stay on payroll and contribute where needed.

Arriaga said she is grateful to have the extra help on her route as they embark on a difficult start to the school year.

“I think about these kids and how I signed up to get them where they need to go to so that they get an education and that’s what I try to stick to,” she said.

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