DEFENDED: Jobs for Bus Drivers (HB 3014)

As introduced, HB 3014 would have enabled school districts to use money from the Oregon Transportation Grant Fund (OTGF) to pay for student “alternative transportation,” including transit bus vouchers and group bike rides or walks to and from school. OSEA members pushed back, knowing that this bill had the potential to cut bus driver jobs.

Thanks to our advocacy, the bill was amended to preserve funding for school buses, the safest way to transport students to and from school. It also protects our bargaining units: the final form of this bill requires districts to prove a good faith effort (consistent with our contracts) to recruit, hire, train and pay existing bus driver positions before the district can apply for reimbursement for alternative transportation. The final bill also requires all new alternate transportation positions be directly employed by the school district to safeguard from contracting-out by limiting the use of school district funds.