Unit 5 bus service workers are given termination notice

By Chad Weber

Unit 5 bus service workers are given termination notice

July 11, 2012 Updated Jul 11, 2012 at 10:53 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- Despite an injunction against it, the Unit 5 school board moved forward with its plans to outsource its bus services to the Ohio based First Student, Inc.

At a school board meeting Wednesday night, the board approved a motion to hand out 30 day termination notices to bus service workers.

AFSCME, the bus worker's union is fighting back with an injunction against the school district.

A hearing is for next Tuesday.

The district must also pass the Illinois Education Board the week classes start in August.

If the district can clear those two hurdles, it needed to lay off employees with thirty days notice to move forward with its Student First contract.

"We're not sure what's going to happen in court on July 17th," said Superintendent Gary Niehous. "We're not sure what will happen with the labor board. But it was a step we had to take in order to fulfill the contract with First Student and we're moving along those lines in order to do that."

"Some of us lost out jobs today, "expressed Unit 5 bus monitor Charita Jeffery. "Some of us are not coming back, even though they told us maybe 90% of us will be hired. But what about that other 10%. Those people needed their jobs."

Bus union members said they did not want their jobs to change.

They said they were happy actually working for the district.

Niehous says for those who will get jobs with First Student, their pay and benefits will be the same as they received under Unit 5.