Western Quebec’s bus drivers strike drags on, parents’ mileage paid by school boards

Western Quebec School Bus drivers strike. Image credit @mini_bubbly

Quebec/CMEDIA: Two western Quebec school boards have chosen to reimburse parents and guardians who’ve been driving their children to school during a school bus driver strike that’s approaching the one-month mark.

Since late April, nearly 300 school bus drivers have been striking, leading to the cancellation of bus routes across the region.

According to one union representative, core issues driving the strike are better wages and working conditions.

On Friday, the Western Québec School Board wrote a letter to parents of students in 10 schools that they would reimburse the parents by paying $10 each day to parents who travel less than 14 kilometres, and $20, plus an additional 50 percent for trips with multiple schools with different schedules if they travel more than 14 kilometres.

Another board, the Centre de services scolaire des Hauts-Bois-de-l’Outaouais (CSSHBO), has been paying just over 50 cents per kilometre for travel since May 1. 

Marc-André Gauthier, spokesperson for the union representing school bus drivers, Teamsters Canada was reported saying in French, “We can’t be against this measure. We understand that there are parents who are affected, some harder than others.”

Still, the decision raises questions, he added.

The other school boards affected by the strike haven’t announced similar measures, while others said they don’t have plans to reimburse parents.

#WesternQuebec; #busDriversStrike