‘I don’t need this job. Fix it.’ School bus drivers question safety

a man in a car talking on a cell phone: Bert van Ingen, 67, has been driving a school bus since 2014.

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Bert van Ingen, 67, has been driving a school bus since 2014.

Bronson Richard has being driving school buses since February 2019. He was sanitizing his big yellow bus on Monday morning when he heard another driver’s query over the dispatch radio.

The other driver said that a student who was not wearing a mask was expecting entrance onto a bus. The dispatcher advised the other driver to allow it.

The exchange worried Richard, 24, who has Type 1 diabetes. He called his supervisor and said he would not be be driving.

“It’s not just a danger to my health, it’s a danger to the community. I want these kids to go to school. But it has to be done in a safe way,” said Richard.

Bus drivers do not have the leeway to refuse service in situations where they feel unsafe, he said.


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Edmonds School District bus drivers rally demanding benefits after layoffs

Edmonds School District bus drivers were laid off in August, and now they are left without medical benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDMONDS, Wash. — School bus drivers for the Edmonds School District rallied for health benefits after layoffs this summer.

Bill Whalen is an Army veteran turned Edmonds School District bus driver.

He’s been driving kids to school for 13 years.

“I am getting older, but I feel 20, 30 years younger because I am around kids and that to me is important,” he said.

The layoffs were announced in mid-August.

The news that Edmonds School District was laying off 175 bus drivers was a blow to Whalen and his co-workers, and not just because they’re out of a job.

“Our benefits have been cut off, our medical benefits, and a lot of people rely on those benefits,” he said.

The loss of benefits hit fellow bus driver John

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