A state board has ruled that the school bus drivers hired by Newtown Public Schools are not part of a labor organization because they are independent contractors, a decision that could have an impact on districts across the state.

The State Board of Labor Relations wrote in a 14-page decision that the drivers are not employees of the district (which would have provided them collective bargaining right) for several reasons. Those reasons include the fact that drivers can transfer one-third of their work to another individual who is compensated at a private rate, and that the driver is responsible for the repair of their vehicle and selection of an insurance provider.

“Exercise of these rights directly impacts owner operator income independent of School Board Control and denotes bargaining power in the relationship,” reads the decision.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

Leave a comment