Save Our Maercker D60 Bus Drivers

Save Our Maercker D60 Bus Drivers

715 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
Petition to
Board of Education and

Why this petition matters

Started by Geeta Saini

The situation:

We are writing to you as a group of concerned Maercker D60 parents to inform you of a change regarding our children’s school bus transportation that  we urgently ask for  your awareness and support on. 

Our school district is not required to provide busing service, but has done so for many years for our D60 families.    The school year started off with our district, along with others nationwide, at a shortage of drivers. This combined with an impending 5-year bus lease coming up for renewal this year, has prompted the District to explore transportation options to plan for future population increases and bus driver shortages, forecasted to last beyond the pandemic. The District’s proposed actions are documented here

Our district leases buses and employs our own drivers to drive them. Now, theD60 Administration is actively reviewing options to not renew the lease for our buses and instead, outsource D60's bus services to a 3rd party vendor, thereby displacing  our beloved bus drivers, who have a longstanding dedication to our district: Miss Tameka (14 years of service)), Miss Mary (20 years), Miss Tammy (11 years), Miss Tara(12 years) and Mr. John (1 year). They are all currently employed by our district. If the proposed changes are approved by the School Board, our bus drivers would essentially lose their jobs, and potentially completely lose their pensions.

There are also active proposals to reduce the service area and routes, which would result in a loss of service for some students and walking farther for a bus stop for others. This is a whole separate topic that deserves separate attention and thus is not being addressed here.

Sue Caddy, D60’s chief school business official, has received pricing from First Student and the Administration has responded favorably to the bid. The administration cites a 3-year savings for the district budget, which is in healthy financial state and in no immediate need of reductions. This is not savings passed down to D60 families; our costs will remain the same either way.  

During this pandemic when our drivers could have easily been part of the nationwide statistics of bus drivers quitting, our bus drivers have made a conscious choice to stay, citing their “commitment to this district and the children”. Miss Tammy drives from Romeoville 4 times a day as an example of her commitment to our district. 

What are the potential effects of outsourcing our buses?

For the district, outsourcing transportation services could potentially reduce their costs and reduce the administrative duties of managing this program and the maintenance of a bus fleet.  For our D60 families that use the bus service and for our current bus drivers employed by Maercker District, there are many potential adverse side effects.

We have independently visited First Student and they have confirmed that they are short bus drivers at the Westmont facility that the administration is looking to contract out. So, outsourcing may only further exacerbate the shortage. 

For parents and caregivers, our bus drivers are the only people associated with our schools that parents have interaction with daily. We trust and depend on them and they have proven reliable, caring, punctual and friendly. Our children have come to love and trust our bus drivers.

Our drivers are an asset to our district and our community. They would be forced to look for a new job and potentially lose their retirement pension funds completely. This is not right and we cannot accept it.

We understand that the labor shortage is a serious issue, and one that needs careful planning for the future. However, laying off 5 willing and able bus drivers who have been working, some as long as 20 years, in exchange for drivers we don’t know and can’t qualify, in order for the administration to rid its hands of the administrative burden of managing busing and associated costs feels like we need to dig deeper for a better option.

What have we done so far?

At the December School Board meeting, concerned parents spoke against this decision and wrote in comments (that you can read here), but it was not enough to spur any action.

What Options Do We Have?

There is no immediate need to outsource our bus service. While there have been some hiccups, our bus drivers have proven to be responsible, caring, trustworthy and punctual.  One option is status quo until we have more time for discussion on this. We do nothing at all.

Based on First Student’s FAQs, there are options for partial outsourcing that would allow us to keep our bus drivers while removing some of the burden of administration, bus maintenance costs, and other things that the administration might be looking to alleviate. 

What are we calling for in this petition?

By signing this petition you agree that:

  1. We are calling for the Board and Superintendent and Admin Staff to delay a decision.
  2.  We call for a Special Community Town Hall for a conversation on this topic and a forum to ask questions and have our voices be heard.
  3. We call on the Board to hear our voices and not be ignored.
  4. We oppose the firing of our bus drivers.
  5. We ask the Admin and Board to come to us with more options on the table than 1 option of outsourcing full service to First Student
  6. We insist that the Board and Admin invite First Student into a special meeting to answer community questions as First Student agrees to in their FAQs.

Next Steps/Call to action:

We need our bus drivers to stay and time is running out.  The people who have the decision power to save our bus drivers are the members of the Maercker D60 School Board, as they will be voting on a decision at the next meeting scheduled for January 18th, 2022 at 7pm at Westview Middle School.  We encourage you to attend this important meeting virtually or, for most impact - in person. 

We urge as many people as possible to sign this petition. The petition and signatures will be emailed to the Superintendent and the School Board.  You can also contact the Board directly at and Sean Nugent at

Let’s stand in solidarity with our bus drivers as soon as possible before time runs out. Thank you for your reading and signing!

715 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!