PulseLine, December 3, 2012

HELLO WESTFIELD TAXPAYERS AND PARENTS WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN THAT RIDE ON SCHOOL BUSES. I too am a parent with children that ride on a school bus but thankfully in a different city that does care about their school bus drivers. I have friends in Westfield that have children that do ride the school buses and the parents tell me there is a major problem going on with the Westfield School Department about Due Process with hiring and removing drivers for any little problem that occur on their bus run. I also learned that the recent School Bus Driver’s Peaceful Protest was cancelled and there was going to be a meeting set up to address the issues and concerns that the drivers had but that is all FALSE. The drivers tell me that was a STALL TACTIC and people were misinformed. The School Bus drivers are telling me there will be a Peaceful Protest Rally on December 3rd . PARENTS, Please if you care about the safety of your children that ride on the school buses you need to speak up and and be heard and support your drivers that transport your children with the upmost safety in mind but are also human. The drivers are extremely worried about losing their jobs for any reason the Transportation Director deems necessary. With this always hanging over their heads it does make for an uncomfortable situation and distracts the driver because they are trying to be to perfect. In the news the other day even Wal Mart Workers have the same problem with due process when there is an issue. The company tells the worker to basically be quiet or they will find an avenue to terminate the worker. In this day and age and also you the people of Westfield have a say in this matter with the School Department and responsibility to speak up to them and demand that the School Bus Driver have Due Process and that means a meeting with the School Officials and not just One Official with that kind of power as to why they are being terminated and can something be worked out first depending on the situation that occurred unless they are a child molester, or someone that has a substance abuse problem or is wanted by the police, that too me would be grounds for immediate removal. I’m not a rocket scientist but if it were me on the School Board I would want to investigate the complete facts about the driver and what happened on their route that lead up to being removed. Where I work I have the right to a hearings board before I get removed from working where I am. The drivers also tell me that the Union they belong to can only help them if the Company they work for has an issue with them. The Union has no authority over the School Department. I don’t know about how you tax payers feel but if it were my town or city I would be furious about this problem and would care about the bus driver that is carrying my child safely to and from school. I GUESS IN YOUR CITY YOUR SCHOOL DEPARTMENT HEADS DO NOT RESPECT OR APPRECIATE THEIR SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS. THIS PROBLEM IS NOT GOING AWAY.

HELLO WESTFIELD AND THE WESTFIELD SCHOOL DEPARTMENT! I have been reading many articles in the PulseLine about the Westfield School Bus Drivers and I can relate to their ongoing problems with their working environment with the School Department. I am a single working mom with two children that are enrolled in the Westfield Schools and I personally don’t have an issue with letting my children on the School Bus with the driver that I have. I do however have a major concern about the working pressure our School Bus drivers have to perform under that is being created by the School Department’s Transportation Director and Superintendent of Schools. I too tried to talk to my School Bus Driver that picks up my children and tried to ask if the problem does exist about always worrying about losing their job for making a mistake while driving their route and for any minor or even a larger issue that might have occurred and the driver did the same thing to me by shaking their head in a yes gesture and would not talk about it. Citizens of Westfield this should not be happening to these Bus Drivers because they are transporting precious cargo and not freight. Obviously there is some kind of major tension going on and if true, the drivers mind while driving even if he or she is the most experienced seasoned School Bus Driver in the United States they will likely be involved in an accident due to the worrying of making any little or major mistake. Like all the other articles other people have been writing and I have been reading where is their due process if by some unfortunate incident should occur? SCHOOL DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS THIS IS AMERICA not a foreign Country. I am a tax payer as well as the rest of the City of Westfield residences and I know I can firmly say they would agree with me that the School Bus Drivers deserve the respect of your department to at least hold a meeting with a School Bus Driver if again they should have a incident on their route for whatever reason and not just terminate the driver before due process unless they are a child molester or driving under the influence or involved in a serious school bus accident and it is their fault. I work in the health care field as a nurse at a large hospital and I am responsible for many patients and God forbid I should have an unfortunate incident happen to me, at least I know that I will have due process and have a chance to explain to a hearings board my side of the story. The School Department should not have that kind of power over our drivers without due process. Please Westfield Residences, PAY ATTENTION to what is happening to our School Bus Drivers whether you agree or not. I know all of you hard working people would want the same in return. DEMAND ACTION ON OUR SCHOOL OFFICIALS, THANK YOU.

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