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Union challenges report that N.B. school bus drivers failing licensing requirements

In this photo taken using a drone, school buses are seen in a lot in Ottawa on Monday, April 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick In this photo taken using a drone, school buses are seen in a lot in Ottawa on Monday, April 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
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FREDERICTON -

The union representing New Brunswick school bus drivers is challenging claims by the auditor general that its members are failing to meet licensing, training and criminal record check requirements.

Iris Lloyd, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees local representing the drivers, says the personnel files reviewed by the auditor were not up to date.

Lloyd says bus drivers love their job and understand they're driving "precious cargo" to school every day.

Last week, auditor general Paul Martin said a review of 65 drivers' personnel files found that 46 per cent did not comply with licensing requirements and 20 per cent did not have a criminal record check on file.

The audit also highlighted problems with school bus maintenance, noting that between Jan. 1, 2022, and Feb. 1, 2024, 63 buses were overdue for inspections and another 311 were overdue for maintenance.

Jonathan Guimond, president of the New Brunswick CUPE local representing mechanics, says some buses are in rough shape because mechanics aren't paid enough and it is difficult to recruit and retain them.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2024.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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