Union to fight firing of swearing N.S. bus driver

The union representing a Nova Scotia school bus driver who was fired for swearing at students plans a grievance to try to get her job back.

Stock Transportation says Heather Vidito's actions were 'inappropriate'

Union representative Joan Jessome says other bus drivers are concerned about Heather Vidito's firing. (CBC)

The union representing a Nova Scotia school bus driver who was fired for swearing at students plans a grievance to try to get her job back.

A video of the incident posted on YouTube shows an aggressive fight between two students on the bus. Heather Vidito is seen swearing at the students as she yells at them to stop.

Vidito was fired Thursday. The company that operates the buses, Stock Transportation, released a statement Friday afternoon saying Vidito's actions were "inappropriate and inconsistent with company policy and training."

The letter, from general manager Troy Phinney, said there was a clear breach of the procedures regarding student management.

Call for an investigation 

The union that represents Vidito said Stock Transportation rushed to judgment.

"It was very quick for the employer to do this," said Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia General Employees Union. "I don't know if the investigation has been completed. They should have probably just put her off on leave until everything took place."

Jessome said it's unfair that Vidito now has no income. She said many bus drivers are concerned about what has happened and sympathize with Vidito.

"We've heard from bus drivers who have been hit in the back of the head with juice bottles and spit balls, a lot of language issues," she said. "It's not always a picnic driving a bus."

The video shows Heather Vidito breaking up a fight between two students on her school bus. (CBC)

Jessome said Vidito is a seasoned bus driver. The union will now work with Vidito to see if she has flagged issues with the students in the past, and learn more about what happened on the day of the fight.

"We're hoping at the end of the day, she'll get her job back and there will be better safety practices in place if it's needed. Some of these students need to be held accountable, too."

The Halifax Regional School Board said the students involved have been punished, but would not elaborate.

More than 2,000 people have joined a Facebook group demanding Vidito be reinstated.

NSGEU represents more than 280 drivers who work for Stock Transportation in Halifax Regional Municipality. They transport more than 24,000 students a day.

Vidito has not returned CBC's requests for an interview.