First Student Canada

69 reviews

First Student Canada Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
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High tension - Poor management
Paratransit supervisor (Former Employee), Regina, SKDecember 2, 2014
Pros: paid the bills - when they didn't cut my cheque in half
Cons: everything - do not work here.
afternoon supervisor review:
(If you don't want to read - do not take this position. In a nut shell. Do not. Horrible job.)

The wage works out to 18/hr on salary which is nice on paper, but you work a heap ton of extra hours without extra pay.

You will be given a work cell phone that you must answer 24/7. Even on holidays and days off. Even if you book time off. "Tough" said the boss.

The union is horribly strict and there was constant confrontation between management and staff.

Poor management. Could not give proper direction. A lot of unanswered questions.

Office staff are not able to take sick days. I called in sick at 4am with a fever (did not work until 230pm) and was still told to come in because "it's not my problem that you're sick" said my boss.

The work load will range from normal to tripple from a daily basis with zero added incentive. If your on salary you lose money every extra hour you work. You'll work a min 10 hour day every day. And get paid for 8 on salary.

There is no common courtesy or general respect. The drivers and shop treat you like you're a complete idiot. Lots of tension.

The company wasn't making money, so instead of filing for bankruptcy they decided to take half of everyone's pay cheques and hold them until you quit or were fired. To make their numbers look good on paper. This is 100% truthful. I will show my pay stubs to anyone doubting this.

This company, overall, will not be successful in future endeavours. The wage:work load ratio is horrible. The staff environment is beyond unprofessional and they will expect the world from you but – more... are not willing to give you anything in return. I do not and will never recommend this company to anyone ever. – less
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Overall, the job isn't that great. A good stepping stone for a real job though.
Charter Bus Driver (Current Employee), Coquitlam, BCApril 8, 2014
Pros: excellent/friendly co-workers
Cons: terrible management practices out of the vancouver head office location.
My experiences are all through the Coquitlam branch of First Student.

Positives:

My co-workers are excellent.
Most of the equipment is newer and reasonably well maintained.
The location manager is fair, competent, and likeable, even though she's based out of the Maple Ridge location.

Negatives:

Being the largest transportation company makes each employee feel like a number and not a person within the company anymore.
The Vancouver office is also the western Canada head office, making them extremely busy all the time. This results in employee communications from other locations being missed/ignored constantly.
While the rate of pay isn't all that bad once you reach the maximum rate, it takes a full 5 years to get there, Other than a 4 hr/day guarantee, there aren't a lot of hours.
Charter assignments are assigned the day before, making it difficult to schedule your life around the job.
Company will not pay overtime
Company will train you for each and every occurrence or mishap out there. That way, if something happens and you're found at fault, the company can then say "we trained them on this day about this kind of danger. We have nothing to do with it now as we've done our due diligence."
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Over all, I loved my job/customers and people I worked with.
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee), Markham, ONAugust 12, 2014
Pros: hours of work was great.
Cons: the pay wasn't the greatest, but it paid the bills
A typical day at work was at times very busy. I answered emails and phone calls for quotes and orders for school excursions and public functions.
I've learned a lot about the various rates, destinations and time of traveling times. I also learned a lot about the Computer program.
The busiest and most stressful times was from April to the end of June and from September to Christmas break. Going to work was very enjoyable. Not every day was the same.
My co-workers were great and we all worked well as a team. We helped each other if we needed it.
I loved my boss, she was great to work for. She was always there to answer any questions I had if I needed her input about something.
The hardest part of the job was, I think, having multiple jobs on the computer at the same time and praying I didn't mess it up. I did a lot of multi-tasking and got the jobs done efficiently and in a timely manner for the customer and company satisfaction. My customers were very happy with the service I provided to them and I had a great raport will each and every one.
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Great company to work for
Bus Driver (Current Employee), Ottawa/OrleansApril 28, 2013
Pros: good solid comapny to work for
Cons: charters are seniority based so new drivers don't get the opportunity for extra charter work.
I start my day with a circle check of my bus and sweep it out. My first pickup is at 7:25. I do three schools in the morning finishing up at about 9:15. I do the same three schools in the afternoon with my first school pickup at 2:30 and finish taking the last kids home by 4:00 pm.
The kids can be unruly at times but each school is different. One of my schools the kids are pretty much perfect.
I have found that the training is excellent with follow-up courses throughout the year. Bus problems are dealt with very quickly and kept in very good state of repair. The oldest buses are 2006 Freightliners up to brand new 2013.
Management is very fair and very easy to work with.
All in all this is a great job for anyone that is semi retired or in need of an extra income. The pay is very good however there are no benefits. Drivers are also unionized.
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Good place to work, however stresfull
Bus Driver (Current Employee), Calgary, ABApril 25, 2015
Pros: work - life balance, pays is good, extra runs
Cons: management organization, mechanics
It's an ok place to work. Specially if you have kids or the economy is bad. They need bus drivers, so it's likely that there's always going to be jobs available.
There are lots of opportunities for extras,which is good..
One of the few downsides is the fact that only the senior bus drivers get a good bus, all the others will drive a really old piece of junk.
Some buses are bad, really bad. 10+ years old and really worn up.
Some buses are so slow,that it will make you mad..

Another negative side is during the inspections "season". Lots of buses' inspection are due on similar dates and there begins your daily stress..Your assigned bus may be gone for over a month. And everyday it is a pain to get a bus, which means you'll be late for your route everyday.
I had to drive 2 different buses everyday, which means 2 pre-trips, which is time consuming.

Mechanics often ignore when you write a bus up, unless it is something really dangerous.
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Working at First Student was challenging and rewarding. Staff and co-workers were great and we all worked as a team.
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee), Markham, ONDecember 18, 2015
Pros: Great place to work.
Cons: Not being able to help everyone.
A typical day at work was very fast paced and challenging. In working at First Student I have learned computer programs such as MS Word, Share Point,some SAP and Excel. I have also learned to know my areas all around the greater Toronto area and charges for the Rental of buses for excursions.

Management were great to work for, they were helpful, understanding and it was great working for them. My co-workers were also great and we all worked as a team.

The hardest thing about the job was pleasing all customers. Some customers wanted buses on the spur of the moment and it was challenging trying to accommodate them all. I almost always succeeded in helping them on the spur of the moment. I had many customers who looked on me for help. I had an excellent rapport with all my clients.

At the end of the day, it was very gratifying knowing that I have helped so many people plan their trips.
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Fun place to work
Driver -school bus (Former Employee), Toronto, ONAugust 8, 2014
Typical day would entail pre and post trip inspections, completion of daily log books, picking up students (JK -12) and delivering them safely to school.
I've learned how to become a much better driver with the variety of regluar safety meetings that are held.
Management are awesome people and very understanding.
Co workers are a fun bunch always have a laugh
hardest part is dealing with some parents who think their children can do no wrong, and students that are late to the pick up stop and expect you to return for them.
Sometimes the winter weather can be a challenge, but doable due to good training.
most enjoyable part is being outside and driving, meeting the different kids each year and knowing that you are helping shape their lives indirectly too.
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Bullies and Cowards
Shuttle Driver (Former Employee), Alberta Oil SandsJuly 8, 2014
Pros: lodging and travell assistance, great co-workers, good pay.
Cons: nickle and diming, no job security, pettiness
One of the greatest jobs ever to do however, the management is extremely poor.
They have no respect or appreciation for the employee or their efforts. They push you around all they want and screw up your schedules and routines on you at the last minute and regularly, yet expect you to be flawless in your duties.
They can be condescending towards workers always giving you runaround and BS. They fire people over pettiness.
The equipment is junk largely due to worksite conditions but most of it is already old obsolete retired junk prior to service.
Very adversarial environment.
Great job for a butt kisser or a puppet.
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Not a very nice place to work
Coach Operator (Former Employee), Ft McMurrayDecember 31, 2012
Pros: driving
Cons: the disorganization and the lies from management.
First Canada in Ft Mac is not a good place to work.Boss will look at you straight in the face, tell you one thing and do another.if you want to advance in the company, just brown nose and you will advance. Very disorganized and management in not experienced.the only way management got the job is because they brown nose enough.
The hardest part of the job is all the Disorganization and how management changes the rules to suite the day.The most enjoyable part of the job is when you are driving down the road, with the company radio turned down.
Hiring drivers with little or no experience, because someone that works there and they brown nosed and they will hire that persons friend or relative no problem. If you are a Newfie, you will get a job no problem and anything you want.
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Management doesn't stand behind company policies
School Bus Operator (Former Employee), ManitobaMarch 3, 2013
Pros: company will pay if you keep an eye on your hours.
Cons: unsafe equipment and drivers are pushed around.
After driving school bus for a few years we moved here and I was hired by First Student. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Buses are not maintained and they don't help with child behaviour issues. In one year they asked me to do something illegal twice and a coworker twice. When I asked how to make it legal I was advised to do it or get fired. Drivers have to double check every paycheque as extra time wasn't automatically put on.
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Warehouse environment with no A/C
Parts Clerk, Biller (Former Employee), Winnipeg, MBJanuary 16, 2014
Pros: upper management, the foreman and technicians where great
Cons: the heat and lack of proper training
I was only there for four months. I had never worked in a warehouse and it was a very hot spring and summer. There was a small A/C unit in the little office my supervisor and I shared that did almost nothing to cool the place. I didn't get the training I needed because my supervisor was new to the job and was very impatient with me and would get angry. He was not understanding to the fact that I needed time to learn. He had been there for many years and expected any new employee to learn it all in a day. I finally ended up with heat stroke and had to leave. I felt sorry for my replacement.
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So far so good
driver (Current Employee), VancouverAugust 11, 2013
Pros: hours for me are ok, older drivers do try to help, i find management has been pretty g.ood
Cons: some equipment is getting pretty old
Training was good, extreme shortage of drivers. Have been treated pretty good. Pay is ok for what I do. Doing charter for the summer and that is certainly eye opening. Most of the kids were well behaved. But I had to finally tell the little darlings that the bus would stop at the opportunity and would not move until they sat down and stayed seated Reported this to the office, still have no heard the results.

There is a pecking order don't run afoul of it...

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It is a good place to be
School Bus Operator (Former Employee), Toronto, ONNovember 10, 2013
Pros: the vacations that the children get i also get them too.
Cons: no money to help pay rents and for food.
A typical day at work would be pre-trip inspection, and call dispatch.
I learned so many things like how to put the kids safety first and what to do when an emergency occurs.
Management is good because they ave everything under control.
The hardest part of the job is that I had to deal with lots of children screaming, and then doing pre-trips in winter time.
The most enjoyable part of the job is that you only worked for 4 hours a day.
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First Student is a great company.
Driver (Current Employee), Toronto, ONNovember 17, 2012
Pros: the job itself - loved it from a-z
Cons: if i had to say, it'd be the money.
I must say that I've never had a job that I derived so much satisfaction from.
The transporting of young kids to and from school,as well as school and public charters and doing it all safely and never with incident was a really a teriffic experience.
I don't think that any part of the job was not enjoyable.Okay,maybe the paperwork.
why would I leave such a job? Economics.
No benefits, no pension plan,not to mention that as more schools go to full-day kindergarten this cuts into a drivers' potential weekly earnings.
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horable company to work for
driver (Former Employee), vancouver, bcMarch 16, 2013
Very rewarding working with children with special needs . Safety standards are very poor and dangerous management is totally unprofessional and treat employees unfair if you hurt your self on the job look out they will do anything in there power to fire you or fight your claim . I f you are being miss treated by this employer do not be afraid to stand up for your self and your rights . Thats why they have a hi employee turn over.The employees should be unionized to protect its workers as in the eastern part of Canada.
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This is a great job but we are not paid enough for the responsability we are charged with.
Currently I drive a school bus (Current Employee), Barrie, ONAugust 7, 2014
Pros: it's a great job and i love it.
Cons: the pay sucks for the responsability we have.
I enjoy driving my school bus. I have a great bus management, which means to control students while I am driving. I have had the opportunity to exercise my ability to lead people but also to be the students friend along with letting them know that I AM incharge as to what goes on in the bus so that it is safe for me to drive.
The hardest part of my job is getting the bus ready in the cold winters.
Co-workers, I get along with all of them as I am a peoples person.
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The 'old guard' mentality is strong at First Student, however if one is only looking for a good part-time job, this company is as good as most.
FT Driver (Former Employee), Calgary, ABOctober 30, 2012
Pros: students, part-time hours
Cons: management, cold weather work, stress
Working with students is wondrous, and fulfilling. The hours can be murderous, especially at -30 and 6:oo A.M. Training is only as necessary, while safety has become more a finger pointing exercise than an opportunity for further learning, unfortunately. There are some great people working here, but too many of them are not in management.
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Great for stay at home moms
School Bus Driver (Current Employee), Brampton, ONOctober 8, 2013
Pros: get to be there for your family.
Cons: don't make enough money to be there for your family.
It is a "part time" job that requires alot of increasing responsibility. Making part time money, no raises, no bonuses, no benefits, no pension, no future security.
People tend to get stuck working here even well after their little ones have grown and moved on because of the independence involved with being a school bus driver on the open road as opposed to being cooped up in an office with a boss breathing down your neck.
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here is a day driving a school bus
School Bus Driver (Former Employee), Markham, ONApril 7, 2013
Pros: meeting the children and their parents
Cons: it was part time
I would get up around 6am and then go and pick up my bus. I would start driving at around 7;30 after I did my pre-trip inspection. This was a part time job. I learned to have patience. The management was greate. My co-workers were unbelievebly fantastic. The hardest part of the job was trying to concentrate on my driving with the children talking too loud and some of them argueing on the bus with other children. The most injoyable part of the job was greeting the children every morning and seeing their smiling faces looking forward to their day at school
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Great employees to work with and that's what made it worth going to work.
Motor Coach Operator (Former Employee), Mississauga, ONFebruary 6, 2016
There are great employees that I work with and it this was a job that felt like a big family. When it comes to pay the company started shorting the drivers by not paying them while the went past the time and still had passengers aboard. Management stooped giving out bonuses as of 2012 and then started shorting pay check and when confronting payroll they would not rectify the shortage. If they would change the management back to what it was back in 2009 the employees would stay longer.
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Headquarters
3221 North Service Road
Burlington, ON
Employees
10,000+
Industry
Links
First Student Canada website