Bus Drivers Get Layoff Notices

By Nathan Baca

Published 04/11 2011 04:39PM

Updated 04/11 2011 04:40PM

LAS VEGAS -- More than 100 Clark County school bus drivers got word Monday they will be out of work in a few months. The change comes because of bell time changes at 139 Clark County schools in the fall.

The district says it will save $10 million a year.

Bus drivers met behind closed doors, many hearing the news their jobs are no longer needed because of the efficiencies of new schedules. Parents and teachers, especially at the high school level, are happy to see some of their start times move from around 7 a.m. to nearly 8 a.m.

"It's terrific for us. Our kids are just dragging themselves here at seven in the morning. So much research has shown that teenagers are nocturnal, they are not up at five in the morning," said Del Sol High School Principal Betsy Angelcor.

Inside the district's Arville bus depot, more than 100 received letters saying they face layoffs. Cameras were not allowed in the meeting and neither were the remaining bus drivers, who say they were frustrated their questions were not answered by the district.

Even those inside the layoff meeting say they left with more questions than answers.

The timeline and exact number of layoffs is unknown until the final budget from state lawmakers.

"I don't even know what's going on behind the closed doors. So I couldn't have emotions about what's going on," said driver Teddy Miller.

Some drivers may be able to keep their jobs by re-applying for positions that may re-open based on seniority. Meanwhile, Teamster union organizers gathered signatures outside the bus depot. They claim the bus driver's current union isn't doing enough to fight for their jobs.

The ESEA's union president says they have "fought every step of the way to protect" driver's rights and equality and claim the district would like nothing more than to split the bus drivers at this critical time.

Either way, the mood with bus drivers is gloomy, but many parents and teachers are welcoming what the new bell times will bring.

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