Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 applauds the Illinois House of Representatives for passing HB 1167 on Tuesday, bringing the State on step closer to ensuring thousands of education workers in Illinois receive the wages, benefits and respect they deserve.

The bill provides a safe, in-person learning environment for students and teachers, while addressing the critical shortage of bus drivers in the State of Illinois. HB 1167 provides paid time-off due to COVID related issues on behalf of teachers and other employees of school districts, public universities, and community colleges, and provides paycheck protection for school bus drivers, making sure they are paid even if a school goes to remote learning.

Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 President Terrence J. Hancock applauded the determination of Rep. Janet Yang Rohr (D-Naperville) and her House colleagues to address the concerns of educators and staff. In January, a similar bill passed both houses of the Illinois general Assembly, but was vetoed by Governor Pritzker.

“On behalf of the 100,000 members we represent throughout the State of Illinois, including more than 6,000 school bus drivers, I want to thank Illinois lawmakers for passing this critically important bill,” Hancock said. “This legislation is incredibly significant for school bus drivers. As they stood by the ready all throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, school districts have consistently refused to compensate their vendors on remote learning days. This has exacerbated what is an already critical shortage of school bus drivers in Illinois. This legislation will not reverse the shortage of bus drivers but does provide some certainty that our members will be paid, which goes a long way towards improving recruitment and retention rates among school bus drivers.”

Teamsters Joint Council 25 and its affiliates throughout represent thousands of dedicated school bus drivers and transportation workers across the state. IBT Joint Council 25 represents over 100,000 hard-working members in Illinois and Northwest Indiana.