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Van drivers for Cheektowaga senior services granted raise

The Cheektowaga Town Board has approved pay raises part-time employees, including can drivers for senior services.

Kerry Peek, director of Cheektowaga Senior Services, told the council why van drivers and other part-time workers in her department deserved raises – even if some amounted to only 25 cents an hour.

“We have long-time van drivers – people who have been with us for a while - on the low end of what we pay drivers,” said Peek. ”They’re out there driving the seniors for the day. That’s precious cargo and a real lifeline for our residents.”

Cheektowaga operates five vans to pick up seniors living in their home or apartment and take them to the doctor, food shopping and other necessary destinations

The suggested donation for a one-way trip is $3.00 but each person determines what he or she can pay, according to the town website. The van runs six days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. One wheelchair van is available for a suggested donation of $8 for a one-way trip.

“We’re asking for a 25-cent raise,” Peek said. “Our van drivers would tell you what a day is like on the job, and they’re doing it for less than what they would make at Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

With the raise, van drivers will receive $10 an hour.

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