School Bus Driver Retention Program (DRP)
The Province of Ontario has committed up to $60 million dollars to fund three bonus payments directly to eligible school bus drivers for the January to June 2018, September to December 2018, and January to June 2019 school semesters as a reward for continuous employment within each period.
The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA), is pleased to be leading the administration of this program (also referred to as the “DRP”) -- an initiative in partnership with the Province of Ontario, (through the Ministry of Education) and other industry stakeholders.
To be eligible for the bonus payments, school bus drivers must meet the eligibility requirements (to be determined/communicated in late Spring 2018), including being employed by a school bus operator that provides to and from school student transportation services in Ontario to one or more of the prescribed student transportation consortia, school boards, school authorities and provincial and demonstration schools identified by the Ministry of Education which can be viewed at this link.
Eligible school bus operator employers that participate in this program, will verify information about their school bus drivers in order to submit claims for bonuses. A program guide, accessible tools and templates and training will be provided to support school bus operator employers before the first submission period.
Bonuses (less applicable taxes and government remittances) will be paid directly to eligible school bus drivers. At this time, our understanding is that the bonuses will be treated as income. A cheque will be mailed via Canada Post from a “Service Provider” (payroll company) hired by the Ministry of Education. This “Service Provider will also mail T4’s via Canada Post directly to each driver. The bonus will not replace or affect regular compensation or claims for employment insurance. Individual school bus drivers do not need to sign-up or register for the bonus payments. All eligible employers will be contacted to submit the appropriate information about their eligible school bus drivers.
For more information contact:
Michele O’Bright, Association Director
Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA)