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Central Regional School Board Will Not Vote On Bus Drivers Tonight

Board members may review bids from private transportation companies tonight, schools administrator says.

by Patricia A. Miller

Central Regional Board of Education members will not decide tonight on whether to retain in-house bus drivers or go with a private firm, Business Administrator Kevin O'Shea said.

However, board members will review any bids received for privatizing the service, he said.

"The board will not take action to accept or reject the bids until our June 19 meeting," O'Shea said today. "This message was communicated to our bus drivers and to the bus companies who put in bids."

The 27 bus drivers received letters on non-renewal from the Board of Education on April 12.

Central Regional bus drivers are paid on a per-run, not hourly basis. O'Shea did a comparison of what other school districts pay their drivers and converted the Central costs per run to an hourly basis.

Central drivers' hourly rates work out to a low of $20.69 to a high of $35.06. There are no steps. A driver's pay is determined by the driver's hiring date, he said.

By comparison, drivers' hourly pay in the Berkeley Township school district range from a low of $15 per hour to a high of $27.55. Barnegat hourly rates range from a low of $14.82 to $27.85. Lacey hourly rates range from a low of $14.58 to a high of $15.36, according to O'Shea's analysis.

"Currently all permanent drivers receive healthcare unless they waive coverage," he said. "Drivers who have been hired since March of 2010 must work at least 25 hours per week to be eligible for healthcare pursuant to a state law that was passed."

Central Regional officials have had some preliminary meetings with a company that could outsource labor costs while allowing Central to maintain its bus fleet, O'Shea said.

The Central Regional bus drivers picketed before the last board meeting, then pleaded for their jobs during the public portion of the meeting. 

Tonight's meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. in the board meeting room at Central Regional High School off Forest Hills Parkway in Bayville.

Brandy the Dog May 15, 2014 at 08:35 PM
Oh, so it's al about you?
BarBara Amador May 16, 2014 at 01:18 PM
The Central regional bus drivers have been on the job for years they are dedicated they are experienced and this is their career. They have done nothing to just serve losing their jobs. There are no complaints there are no accidents there is no danger to the children in fact they are comfortable they are safe with the current drivers. I am hoping they will not lose their jobs. If the children are in capable hands they are safe isn't that the main objective here? Or is cut dedicated people's throats in order to save a penny the objective here?
Brandy the Dog May 16, 2014 at 01:25 PM
Fat kids should walk to school.


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