Shortage of Rural School Bus Drivers

Res #: 7-22M
Number: 7
Year: 2022
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education

WHEREAS school bus service is important to all citizens of the Province of Saskatchewan.

WHEREAS recruitment and retention of school bus drivers proves to be difficult. Paperwork and regulations make it unattainable for some interested people.

WHEREAS rural school buses are a necessity and sometimes one of the only options for getting children to school.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to work with school divisions to improve the recruitment and/or compensation to attract more people to this occupation.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education

March 3, 2023

In Saskatchewan, bus drivers safely transport more than 70,000 students covering more than 250,000 kilometres of rural routes daily. The Ministry of Education values the essential role of these drivers in the education system and are aware of the difficulties that school divisions are experiencing in their recruitment and retention across Saskatchewan. The Ministry also understands that this is an essential service for many students. 

The requirements for becoming a school bus driver include minimum age, vision, and medical standards, as well as passing both a written and road test. School bus drivers are retested every five years to maintain their license. Appropriate licensing requirements are important and necessary to ensure the continued safety of students. 

In Saskatchewan, education is a shared responsibility. While government provides funding to school divisions for the provision of programs, supports and services, school divisions have the responsibility to make staffing and programming decisions within their allocated budget to meet local priorities and address the needs of their students and staff. Through local agreements, school divisions have the responsibility to negotiate the salaries and contracts for school bus drivers. 

The Honourable Dustin Duncan – Minister of Education, Saskatchewan Ministry of Education