Hartford school bus drivers protest lack of local hiring despite law


HARTFORD — School bus drivers in the Capital City attended a City Council meeting Tuesday evening to express their outrage over what they say is a violation of city law.

A new busing contractor, Specialty Transportation, took over in July, but the CSEA Service Employees International Union Local 2001 says that company is violating Hartford’s living wage ordinance. That law is supposed to ensure that companies look to local residents when hiring, and union members say that Specialty Transportation has refused to hire or retain local school bus drivers or monitors.

“We need you guys to help us do our job as best as we could because we want to work. We want to do this. We want to take care of these kids. We want to transport them safely. And this is what we do every single day no matter what happens,” said Maria Cruz, a bus monitor.

The union represents 25,000 active and retired state, municipal and private-sector workers in Connecticut.