Proposed training draws attention of HPSD

Richard Froese
South Peace News

High Prairie School Division wants bus drivers exempt from mandatory entry-level training.

The board of trustees opposed the new plan proposed by the provincial government at its board meeting March 20, says a news release March 22.

“Trustees passed a motion to write a letter to the premier and the ministers of education and transportation to request that all school bus drivers be exempt from MELT,” says Tammy Henkel, who chairs the board.

The board will also send letters to the Alberta School Boards Association and the Public School Boards’ Association.

Trustees also reviewed a proposed motion from the ASBA to exempt school bus drivers from [MELT] for the ASBA fall general meeting.

Discussion focused on the legislation and how it relates to the division’s process to recruit and train bus drivers.

Trustees are especially concerned how it affects spare bus drivers.

Under the proposed legislation, spare drivers will be required to complete more than 60 hours of training, which the board says will add to the cost.

The board is also concerned drivers will be required to complete training for air brakes. It’s the same required for drivers of semis and other load-driven Class 1 and Class 2 vehicles.

All HPSD buses have air brakes.

Although air brakes increase the cost of a new bus, they have decreased maintenance and operating costs over the life of the bus.

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