Resolution calls for higher HandiVan, TheBus operator pay

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A city council resolution introduced on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, calls for providing hazard pay to HandiVan and TheBus operators due to an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.

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The Teamsters Union — which represents the drivers — says their members are frontline workers that are put at risk of contracting the virus every day.

Oahu Transit Services, Inc. (OTS) says, because of the added cost it can not support the measure.

“The inclusion of hazard pay as suggested in the resolution, $800 per month, would add up to about $13.5 million in additional expenses if continued for a full year and would greatly exacerbate a very challenging city budget,” said OTS President and General Manager Roger Morton. “For all of these reasons stated, the Oahu Transit Services, Inc. opposes the passage of the resolution.”

The council has not taken action on the measure.

Morton says, meanwhile about 220 OTS esential workers have received the first dose of the vaccine.

He added, they are working to make the vaccine available to other employees of the department.

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