With the ongoing Coronavirus crisis continuing to cause pain and suffering for so many of us and our families, we are doing all we can to keep our valued employees up to date on the latest developments. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one because of this crisis. We especially thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.
In our last update, we shared with you that numerous school districts informed us that they would not be paying us for April and that we would have to furlough a significant amount of employees and reduce the size of our workforce. After looking at every available possibility and leaving no stone unturned, we were able to find a way to continue paying the vast majority of our employees for the week ending 04/03/20.
Earlier in this crisis, many school bus contractor associations, labor unions, and school districts themselves were pressuring Albany on behalf of the nearly 125,000 statewide employees who are part of the school transportation industry to secure funding and continue paying us. Regrettably, there has been very little movement at this point and we are now forced to furlough additional employees and reduce the size of our workforce even further. The same situation exists in the State of Connecticut where our valued employees working there have been furloughed since the early goings of this pandemic.
When we last provided an update we were awaiting a response from a few more school districts that were on the fence about paying us before we made further announcements. Unfortunately, most of those districts have declined to pay us, leaving us no other recourse but to proceed with additional furloughs. There was at least one district that suddenly reversed their commitment to paying us and decided against it by recommendation of counsel.
Those employees that are being furloughed include all drivers and driver assistants that are assigned to routes from any school district or adult day program that has not agreed to pay us and all spare drivers and spare driver assistants. We will be directly notifying those drivers and driver assistants. If you are unsure of whether or not you are being furloughed please contact your supervisor for clarification.
Dispatchers will be in the terminals during most business hours to help answer your questions. Please note that the company will continue to pay its portion of furloughed employee's medical benefits for April and the employee will be responsible to pay their share. Human Resources is mailing out letters to all furloughed employees that contain guidance on how to apply for unemployment insurance.
We understand that this is not the news that you were all counting on but sadly it has become our reality in light of the current circumstances. It is our great hope that this crisis comes to end quickly so that we can get back to work and a sense of normalcy. We know and appreciate the fact that without our great employees we would not have achieved the level of success that we have grown accustomed too. We thank you for your contributions to the company and we look forward to your return when this is all over.
Please stay safe and come back and visit this blog for future updates.