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:
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.
R. Stephen Green, Ed.D.
DeKalb County School District
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.
• 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.
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.
Thanks for posting this, Stan.
I am very concerned that DCSD has had a Driver and Monitor Advisory Committee for 15 years, yet bus drivers felt compelled to have a “sick out,” even at the risk of being fired.
It is very clear to me that this DMAC approach isn’t working, and probably hasn’t worked for some time.
It also is clear from the data presented that DCSD pays their drivers competitively.
So the bus drivers’ issues must be far beyond compensation. When I listened to bus drivers make public comments at BOE meetings, many of their comments dealt with how they are treated.
This concerns me greatly. This speaks to the culture of DCSD. Let’s hope this can be a catalyst for treating bus drivers and teachers and all who work beyond the Palace, with respect.
DeKalb won’t rehire bus drivers
I hope that the DCSD will change its mind and rehire these people. Each bus driver is an individual. I don’t think that it is correct to hold one person for the decisions of another person. It seems like the ‘evidence” that the school system has is people “telling on one another”. That seems like pretty weak evidence. It seems like certain people are being penalized for being vocal.
I stand with the bus drivers and want them to be some of the best paid bus drivers in the metro area. They furthermore have some very reasonable non monetary requests. I believe roughly 400 bus drivers participated in the sick out / strike. They arguably broke the law and are each subject to that law in and of itself. 7 of the 400 were identified by the school district as promoters of this event and were let go. The Decaturish story seems to be only one side of the story.
Here’s a different take on it:
How were these 7 identified as promoters? Don’t they have the right to give their side of the issue? If they are subject to the law, then aren’t all 400, without doctor’s notices subject to the law?
Stan, I am not arguing with you. But, I hate to see certain people lose their jobs, when other people are given a chance to correct their behavior or mistakes. Please understand, I do not want to see any one get fired, if it can be helped. For at least the year, DeKalb’s hiring practices have been in the news. In one of the recent article, the news reported about a teacher charged with murder.
In the article the following comments were reported:
”District officials admitted last fall they often failed to do internet searches, verifying the work history candidates provide on their job applications and making direct contact with references. District officials said those working in the hiring process would receive training sessions on interviewing and annual safety awareness training, and they would begin contacting boards where candidates are licensed.”
Stan, it seems like checking references and verifying work history are basis things that any HR department would do. DeKalb was hiring for people to work with our children.
Then of course there was the case of our former “HR Chief Brown, who had worked with Green previously in Kansas City, began running the department in January 2016. In February 2017, The AJC reported Brown had not been seen in district offices since December 2016.”
He was allowed to take another job in the school system.
I do not want to see anyone hurt. I am just hoping that we will give the bus drivers a second chance.
Leo Brown is listed as a specialist II in compliance.