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(Halifax) – CUPE Nova Scotia says school bus drivers employed by First Student Canada in King’s County are the only non-unionized group of drivers in the province, and it’s planning to change that.

CUPE National Representative Kelly Murray says, “These 110 drivers transport students with the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board (AVRSB), which chose to contract out the service several years ago.

As a result, they are the lowest paid group of school bus drivers in Nova Scotia and we’d like to change that,” says Murray.

Under CUPE’s new provincial bargaining structure – recently agreed to with the Department of Education – we have achieved a standard rate for school bus drivers which is $18.81 an hour,” he says.

We will be approaching the AVRSB and suggesting to them that when the contract with First Student Canada expires in about a year’s time, there will no longer be a need to contract out the service because the province has committed to these wage rates for all CUPE drivers across the province,” says Murray.

While there may have been some rationale to contract out the service years ago, that is no longer the case with the new provincial agreement.  This should be a no-brainer for Board members with the AVRSB,” he says.

Other bus drivers employed by the AVRSB in the other two counties are members of CUPE and make the provincial wage rate.  CUPE represents some 4,500 school board workers in seven school boards.

For information:

Kelly Murray                John McCracken
CUPE National Rep.    CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)        (902) 455-4180 (o)