The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

September 10, 2013

Union bus drivers want school district support

(Continued)

"We love our job," he said.

But the drivers do want help.

They may not be complaining, said Wapello County Supervisor Steve Siegel, about the money. But you need to know, he told the board, that bus drivers in surrounding communities are better paid and receive better benefits — even in small districts. Siegel works for a union and has conducted negotiations with the district in the past. He said he was recently made aware of the drivers' concerns.

"These bus drivers are not property of Southern Iowa Transit," added Thomas.

If they do "belong" to anyone, he said, it's the community.

The administrators running the district don't have time to worry, he continued, about how to pick up all the students needing transportation using the five bus drivers they would have if the union drivers did not have a contract. So if the school board could encourage Southern Iowa Transit to settle, all such trouble could be avoided.

School board members asked if Thomas could get them a chart showing pay and benefits in surrounding school districts. Thomas immediately agreed to send such a list to the district.

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark

The board took other action as well at their meeting. But two of those "actions" included hearing from other speakers during the public communication part of the meeting. They heard from parents and teachers who didn't like the idea that the Ottumwa High School graduation ceremony could be moved to Friday evening. One speaker said graduations are important enough that they draw family from out of town and out of state. For those people to be in Ottumwa Friday, some would have to miss a day of work on Thursday and Friday. The board did vote on the "school calendar" item, and ruled that graduation would continue to be held on Sunday. The first speaker of the night warned that the district could be opening itself up for liability issues revolving around nutrition. He suggested that students learn better when healthy, and a good way to keep kids healthy is with a fruit snack. He explained that all children in all buildings should receive the same nutrition during the day --- breakfast, lunch and a snack, hopefully fruit. He believed that is not currently the case. If it's not, the district could be seen as discriminating against the students in some schools.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Riverfront color photo -L -M Ideas flow at Riverfront Renaissance workshop OTTUMWA — Ideas flowed as freely as the river itself Tuesday evening as more than 100 Ottumwans shared their vision of what the riverfront can be.The Riverfront Renaissance design charrette, sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, drew p

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kids … not cash OTTUMWA — From a project that started with nothing, supporters created a top-notch education facility for at-risk youth. Someone in on the project from the beginning shared the story. Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker addressed a community advis

    July 22, 2014

  • Staying healthy during extreme heat OTTUMWA — After unusually cool temperatures last week, it may have been easy to forget how the heat of summer feels, but an incoming heat wave will quickly remind you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the No.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shooting ruled homicide OTTUMWA — The death of a man shot in Wapello County has been ruled a homicide. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday received a 911 call of a shooting 4 miles southwest of Ottumwa. Deputies discovered Clinton Gus Leedom, 49, of Bloomfield, to

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Seth Techel mugshot -T Techel jury may begin deliberations Wednesday

    DAVENPORT — The jury in the third trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife may begin deliberations as early as Wednesday in Scott County, Davenport. The jury was excused mid-afternoon Tuesday while Judge Daniel Wilson, who continue

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT flood file photo Over $1 million to fight floods EDDYVILLE — It's not the way a town wants to get $1 million, but the damage suffered by Eddyville in recent floods has prompted the federal government to cut a check. Actually, it's Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, a community assistance agency

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver's license services temporarily suspended KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office has notified the Iowa Department of Transportation that it has suspended driver’s license services due to staffing issues in the county treasurer’s office. It is anticipated suspension of the services

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Canoe Camp color photo -L -M -T Canoe Camp teaches water safety OTTUMWA — Six children at Pioneer Nature Area and Nature Center pond were making waves and getting wet as they flipped their canoes over in attempt to rescue each other. Since summertime and water activities go hand-in-hand, the goal of the activity

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three appointed to Board of Adjustment OTTUMWA — Three new faces will appear on Wapello County Board of Adjustment, thanks to help from the county’s newspaper of record, the Ottumwa Courier. Four applicants applied for the positions and three were selected. New members include Marcia Week

    July 22, 2014

  • Slain woman's boyfriend: I didn't kill her DAVENPORT — A married man who had an affair with a slain Wapello County woman testified this morning that he did not kill her. Jason Tinnes, a jailer who worked with the late Lisa Caldwell Techel, said their affair ended shortly before she died. Tinn

    July 22, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook