WASHINGTON – The Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO joins the rest of the nation this week in thanking the men and women dedicated to transporting children to and from school during National School Bus Safety Week. In recognition of the challenges faced by school bus drivers, today TTD is announcing it will host a School Bus Summit on Dec. 2, 2013, in Washington, D.C., with its member unions.

“It is time to both thank school bus drivers for the indispensable role they play in making sure our kids are safe and secure, and also to address their everyday challenges,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind.

School buses remain the safest form of transportation for school children, carrying 25 million students to and from school every day on approximately 500,000 buses. TTD honors the drivers for their unyielding commitment to safety and dedication to their communities.

“The untold story is that school bus drivers are expected to fulfill their enormous responsibilities while too often driving overcrowded buses and without adequate support and training,” Wytkind said. “Meanwhile, unscrupulous private entities seek to outsource their jobs on the cheap and force them to work under often difficult conditions.”

To address many of these challenges, TTD will bring together union activists and drivers and federal regulators in the December summit. Participants will share ideas and strategies to address pressing concerns, including privatization of bus service, unmet training needs, overcrowded buses and burdensome employment requirements.

“The TTD School Bus Summit will focus on the men and women who work in this sector,” Wytkind added. “We cannot expect our nation’s school bus drivers to work in substandard conditions due to flawed policies and employers who cut all the wrong corners.”

More details on the summit will follow in November.