Home Government Union Official: Brick School Bus Driver Layoff Fight Isn’t Over

Union Official: Brick School Bus Driver Layoff Fight Isn’t Over

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School Bus (File Photo/ Bill McChesney/Flickr)
School Bus (File Photo/ Bill McChesney/Flickr)

A leader of the Transport Workers Union says his organization has an appeal pending which he hopes will reinstate bus drivers laid off by the township school district. Meanwhile, school officials say routes have been set for the 2015-16 school year.

“The board did these layoffs knowing an appeal was pending,” said John Menshon, president of Transport Workers Union Local 225 Branch 4, which represents the district’s school bus drivers. “The layoffs have to be done in good faith, and we can demonstrate that they weren’t.”

Two bus drivers were laid off before the school year began and 14 more had their hours reduced from full time to part-time status, said Interim Superintendent Dr. Richard Caldes. One of the drivers is retiring in October, which effective brings the number down to 13, he added.

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The 14 drivers who had their hours reduced lost their health care coverage in the process, creating a hardship for their families, Menshon said.

“It’s not just the layoffs themselves, it’s the impact of how many people are not going to have benefits for their families,” Menshon said. “That’s the bigger impact here. I just don’t want anyone to miss the fact that these layoffs cause a lot of grief and hardship for these folks.”

The TWU’s appeal of the district’s layoff plan primarily focuses on the “good faith” aspect. In the filing with the state Civil Service Commission, the union claims the district did not explore alternatives to the layoffs or hold discussions on how they could be avoided as state policy requires, Menshon said. Another sticking point is how the district handled sending some bus routes out to bid by way of the Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission. In the past, Caldes has said that state law requires the district to allow the commission to send certain out-of-district routes out to bid to see if they can be handled at a cheaper rate than in-house employees could provide.

Some routes were awarded to contractors through the commission while others were kept in-house, Caldes said. The contracts for those routes were awarded in July, which ultimately determined how many drivers were to be laid off or converted to part-time status.

“It came down to numbers,” said Caldes.

Menshon predicted “chaos” may ensue Thursday as the school year begins, though Caldes said routes have not been eliminated even though the hours certain drivers work have been reduced.

“I’m hoping that it’s going to go well,” Caldes said, adding that the routes will be fine-tuned as the school year begins, as is done every year.

A successful appeal of the layoff plan would mean drivers who had been laid off could return to work and those who had their hours reduced would revert back to full-time status with benefits.


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  • JJones

    Keep paying out those big salaries to the adminstration on board of ed…

    • corner post

      BOE does not get paid. You should address the Acting superintendent for putting Jim Edwards contract on the agenda. Highest paid business administrator at his age in Ocean County. Good people on the board voted no, representing the taxpayers. The Republicans voted yes. Soon Jim Edwards will make more than Trump off the backs of the brick tax payers. Good job Rich Caldez, and great job Vito Corleone for rubber stamping it.

      • JJones

        The acting superintendent and business admininistrator get a good chuck of cash for a school system ..And when they receive a new Superintendent what his salary going to be $180k…

      • george walker

        I heard a man speaking at the BOE meeting that business administrator makes $9 more a year than Gov. Christie. Thank you Rs, for voting for his salary. Madeline Iannarone and Vic Finamore will do more of the same and pick up where Pannucci and Conti leave off.

  • JJones

    They both were making big bucks before Pannucci and Conti were on BOE. There golden plate just keeps increasing …

    • BillyBrick

      Votes are a matter of public record. Pannucci, Conti, Barton and Vito just gave Jim Edwards a $3500 raise. Fact, not opionion. If not for the votes they cast, the contract would not have been approved. The Sangiovanni team at work again. Now Madeline and Victor will pick up the gauntlet and keep it going. The R club rewards their puppets well. Look at Pannucci’s new job as BA in Point. Do you think Madeline Innarone got her job at the Recreation dept. through the application process? Victor Finamore can’t hold more than a per diem job, no matter how many they give him. A vote for the Sangiovanni team puts these public feeders right back at the trough. This time the stakes are higher. With salaries like the BA getting richer every year, one has to wonder what the Rs need in the way of votes. What’s coming in the next few months, needing the rubber stamp of Vito to get it done before the crew of Conti, Pannucci, Barton and Vito exit the trough.

  • JJones

    You know what’s sad Steve And Joe are gone and have been for years and certain people still harp on what they did …Democrats have had control for years now and drugs..crime..taxes have gotten worse. So smoke and mirrors don’t hide the facts…So move on already. Stop living in the past and work on what’s best going going forward… Both side new council and ones who are running tell us what’s the plans to make Brick better safe and affordable again…