INDIANAPOLIS — The decision by Washington Township schools to start the school year virtually is a game-changer for bus drivers in the district.
Bus drivers have been told they’ll stay on the payroll, but their duties may change.
“It was a shock to us when we found out about it,” one bus driver said. “The email said we should report for duty Thursday on the 30th to keep us on the payroll.”
The bus driver who spoke with RTV6 has been with the district for seven years. She didn’t want to go on camera out of fear of losing her job even though she’s not happy about being reassigned.
“This is my livelihood,” the bus driver said. “I am a Afro American female that’s 58 years old. I’m in a high-risk category. I have a pre-existing condition.”
The district wants bus drivers to come back and stay on payroll but it’s not yet clear what will be expected of them. They’ve been told they may have to clean school buildings.
“I’m not a janitorial person. I am not the help,” the bus driver said. “It’s insulting to me because if I wanted to choose the career of cleaning buildings I would have done that. I went and got certified as a CDL Class B bus driver. If I can’t return and do that job then don’t create jobs for me to do that I find demeaning.”
RTV6 tried to set up an on-camera interview with the district about the possible changes but we were told it wouldn’t be possible. The district instead sent the resolution stating certain positions would be modified during the all virtual period.
“They are not communicating anything to us,” the bus driver said. “They told us that we are not to contact the office to ask questions or anything. People are upset about this.”
Right now, drivers said even though they aren’t pleased they’ve been left with no choice but to show up to see how things go since as of right now they wouldn’t be able to file for unemployment.