Category Archives: Buses

Support for DCSD Bus Drivers

DeKalb Schools would like to set the record straight. They sent out a Bus Driver Fact Sheet to the community discussing how they have supported bus drivers over the years. This is the abridged version of the 4 page document:

Greetings from the DeKalb County School District,

Given the recent activities regarding our bus drivers, this is an opportunity to share with you essential information regarding DCSD’s efforts to provide proper compensation, benefits and growth opportunities for our Transportation teammates.

The following pages are a summary of the district’s efforts to provide a safe, beneficial and attractive workplace for both current and prospective bus drivers alike.

Regards,
R. Stephen Green, Ed.D.
Superintendent/CEO
DeKalb County School District

HISTORY
The Driver and Monitor Advisory Committee (DMAC) was established by the Transportation Department leadership nearly 15 years prior to April 2018. Its purpose is to receive, review and act on concerns from bus drivers related to their employment as a group. Its outcomes include regular meetings with employees and relationship-building activities.

ONGOING/RECENT MEETINGS

• Monthly – Chief Operations Officer meets with the DMAC Leadership (six individuals) and the DMAC Committee (34 individuals) in separate meetings monthly to provide updates and discuss employee concerns.

• April 17, 2018 – Dr. Green met with an at-large bus driver group to hear its concerns and committed to form a partnership with a subgroup of drivers to develop a plan of action for resolutions.

• April 17, 2018 – Dr. Green, through the Chief Operations Officer, extended an invitation to meet with the president of the Bus Driver Committee on Thursday, April 19. The president turned down the invitation.

• April 19, 2018 – Dr. Green met with the bus driver sub-group. The group selected issues it deemed as the highest priorities. An action plan is being developed that will outline the timeline and monitor the continuous progress.

• Thursday, April 26 – Next meeting of the driver sub-group.

COMPENSATION
DCSD bus drivers are the second-highest paid school bus drivers among their peers Metro Atlanta school districts, including those in Cobb County, Gwinnett County, Atlanta and Fulton County. The highest paid county bus drivers work eight hours daily, compared to six hours in DCSD.

DCSD drivers and transportation staff have received the following cost-of-living adjustments raises since 2014:
2014 – 1.12%
2015 – 2.0%
2016 – 2.0 %
2017 – 5.07%
2018 – 2.0 %

HERE COMES THE BUS

Here Comes the Bus: Parent Notification Pilot Program DCSD will pilot a transportation app/online program designed to provide families, administrators, and district personnel with real-time information regarding bus location status.

In partnership with software-developer, Synovia Solutions, DCSD will pilot their GPS-based Here Comes the Bus application with a small group of students and families at five (5) elementary schools in May 2018. Parent and administrator feedback from this pilot will then be used to fine-tune technology, develop process and procedures, and determine the feasibility of a phased, district-wide rollout. Should the pilot program render positive results and adequate feedback, we anticipate initiating a phased launch of the program to accompany the start of School Year 2018-2019

A program overview, informational video, FAQ, and additional resources are located on the Here Comes the Bus website at https://herecomesthebus.com.

DeKalb Bus Driver Sick Out

Might be a walk to school day tomorrow. DeKalb Schools bus drivers may be sick Thursday and Friday, April 19-20.

Last week this memo was circulated among the bus drivers and monitors. It is rumored that the date was pushed back to April 19 & 20.

DeKalb Schools Board of Education will shortly review a Compensation and Class study of all employees in the school district. Included in that will be a bus driver pay comparison with the other Metro Atlanta school districts.

Since early March, Chief Operating Officer Joshua Williams and Superintendent Green have been meeting with driver representatives.

Dr. Green met with the bus drivers yesterday, April 17, at 10:00 AM in the AIC Auditorium to hear their concerns. The meeting was full – standing room only. The bus drivers were very passionate about their dedication to the job and how much they care about the children.

They requested that the Superintendent and his administration, along with the Board, address their long-standing and ongoing concerns. Various individuals spoke at the microphone representing the overall concerns of the bus driver community.

Categorization of Bus Driver Concerns:
1. Salary increases/COLA
2. Better retirement plan
3. Fair pay for sick leave days
4. Timely correction for pay stub errors
5. Timely response once they present concerns at board meetings
6. Pro-rated interest on salaries – where does it go?
7. Better insurance plan to cover surgeries, etc.
8. Incentive bonuses
9. Attendance incentives
10. Discipline committee for driver infractions
11. Bring back bus driver/bus monitor of the year program
12. Better parent compliance for the student rider agreement
13. Clean-up Transportation Department top to bottom
14. Restore step increases
15. Salary for bus trainers and not an hourly rate
16. Restore higher pay for transient bus drivers
17. Restore 8 hour pay for backup drivers
18. Confirm Dispatch receive more personnel
19. Inquire about $10M former Superintendent stated could be used for bus driver retirement
20. Request for Board presence at meetings and board members to take ride on bus routes
21. Time response when calling for school administrators to buses during student incidents
22. Reclassify bus driver position from part-time to full-time to resolve pay, benefits, and retirement concerns
23. Need working lights at Panthersville Stadium
24. Fix potholes at Panthersville Stadium
25. Need restrooms at Coralwood & North Decatur bus parking lot
26. Need more restrooms for females at AIC parking lot (OSHA)
27. Need tracking for locating buses
28. Restore special needs bus monitors to field trips
29. Need PBIS program in transportation program
30. Need to educate bus drivers on political structure; who is responsible for what
31. Need knowledge on why protocols exist when no-fault accidents take place; why the need for testing
32. Increases for special needs bus drivers due to handling older/bigger students (e.g. 21 years of age)
33. Determine length of time it will take for resolutions to concerns
34. Need intercom and air conditioning on ALL buses but especially transient bus drivers
35. Want superintendent and board to attend annual bus driver meeting
36. Stop using transportation as dumping ground for failed school administrators
37. Too top heavy
38. Fair treatment for bus drivers
39. Address overcrowded buses
40. Need itemized pay stub
41. Written correspondence on any proposed salary and step increases
42. Allow bus drivers to participate in Open House each year to share bus rider agreement
43. Review hiring process of bus drivers
44. Pay bus drivers for training class and not a stipend at the end
45. Compare assistant field supervisor
46. Share when you will go to board with recommendations
47. Add bus drivers in publications
48. Share what you can commit to for bus drivers
49. Concerns with going to 7 Regions next school year and impact to special needs drivers
50. Review history of bus driver concerns

Dr. Green listened to each concern. Everyone that wanted to speak had an opportunity to speak. Dr. Green will continue to meet with driver representatives. The bus drivers selected their own representatives. The purpose of these meetings is to begin the collaborative work of setting priorities and the action plan for resolution of the aforementioned concerns.


This robo-call will be going out this evening …

This is an important message from the DeKalb County School District.

You may have heard talk about the possibility that some of our bus drivers may not report to work during the next three days.

DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green has been meeting with the drivers and we are working in partnership to address their concerns. In the meantime, we have a contingency plan in place. Please note, some buses may arrive and pick up a little later than usual.

Some of you may be concerned about the impact this will have on testing. There will be NO consequences to students if they arrive as a result of a late bus. The district will work to find time for students to take the test.

If you have transportation questions pertaining to a late or missed bus, please call our hotline at 678-676-1200.

Please know that the district’s TOP priority is getting your children to and from school safely.

Thank you for your continued support of the DeKalb County School District.