Apr 15, 2011 10:48 PM by Shawn Kline

Iberia Parish bus drivers asking for more compensation; board reluctant

Iberia Parish school bus drivers are asking the school board to spend more cash to run their routes. The proposal cites increased operational costs (gas, break-downs) and the lack of bus attendants for pre-k students.
The board asks, 'can we afford it?'

"I love my job- every morning: get up, ready to go." Driver, Tommy Pollard says, "afternoon: same thing."

Pollard has been behind the wheel in Iberia Parish for the last seven years but he says a lot has changed since he first got on board.

"Everything has gone up." Pollard listed, "tires, oil, belts, fuel. It's getting tough right now."

"It may sound like a good (list of issues)." School board member Robbie Leblanc asks, "can we afford it?"
"We may be looking at sending some employees to the house; layoff, reduction in force, whatever you want to call it."

Leblanc says he hopes to avoid layoffs but in today's economy, everyone is struggling including the school board.

"There is a budget they can put some of this transportation cost in," Pollard argues. "Hopefully we can have this for the first of the next school year."

"It's a no as far as I am concerned." Leblanc says, "no matter what the budget adjustment would be."

For now, the Iberia Parish Bus Drivers' Association will play 'wait and see.' Waiting for the school district's budget hearing to begin and seeing what they put in (and what they leave out).

"I hope it doesn't take them two-years for them to afford it," Pollard said.



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