Atlanta Public Schools 2013-14 school year is in session. Students, teachers and parents are off to a great year. Except, one very important group of school employees that are often overlooked and ignored. The bus drivers are not off to a successful start. If you think about it, they are transporting our most valuable asset day in and day out. They transport our children to and from school daily, to sporting events at night, on weekends and even out of town.
Bus drivers in APS are feeling unappreciated, disrespected and underpaided by the district. Bus drivers have been protesting out in front of the APS district office daily, at 130 Trinity Ave. SW.
Key concerns of bus drivers protest and what taxpayers need to know:
School calendar is approved by the board of education 4 or 5 months at the end of the school year.
This year there were 3 school calendars instead of 2. The bus drivers were aware of 2 calendars not 3.
Bus drivers are at Will Workers and they have no contract. Which means, they can be terminated or released at anytime for any reason. They are not under contact like teachers and other school staff.
Bus drivers are on 190 as a classified worker. They are employed 9 months. During the summer bus drivers must seek other employment.
Bus drivers were ask to come in July 24, 2013, they were scheduled from year to year to report on July 31. Many found out by social media. The district did not contact them.
If they are asked to come in early, they should be paid for that time. They have families to
take care of.
July 24, 2013, all bus drivers clocked in to run their routes for the 2013-14 school year.
July 25, 2013, bus drivers stated that the time clock that they use to clock in was covered up. Bus drivers stated that they had to sign in. This is a legal issue on the table.
Atlanta Public Schools changed the bell schedules for the 2013-14, school year. Which changed the bus schedules.
Bus drivers operate and drive 4 or 5 hours daily.
Bus drivers have mandatory training throughout the school year. This happens on days teachers are having staff development during the year.
Bus drivers are not paid for overtime or time and a half.
Many bus drivers are paid only 18 dollars an hour. Many have to take on additional jobs to pay their bills and take care of their families.
Bus drivers are demanding the money for coming in early on July 24, 2013, according to their hourly rate.
Bus drivers need a raise in APS in order to retain the drivers who have proven outstanding service and good driving records from year to year.
APS is short of about 30 bus drivers. If they are asked to report early, they should be paid.
As of August 20,2013, Atlanta Public Schools is seeking a Director of transportation on the district’s career connection page.
APS admits that they failed to communicate with the drivers about the issue that is a the top of their concerns.
September 9, 2013, bus drivers will address the school board with their concerns.
How many parents know the name of their child’s bus driver that they entrust daily? Parents need to know the name of their child’s bus driver, just like they know the name of their child’s teachers and the school they attend. Bus drivers are vital staff members of any school district and should be treated and paid as such. Consideration should be given to them, if and when they report to duty early. They undergo a background check not to mention their driving record. Bus drivers love their job and the years of service will indicate that. They have a very important and stressful role in a child’s education.
Bus drivers for most students are the beginning and end of a student’s day. They can set the tone of a student’s day. Many bus drivers have children in APS and they are concern about the education of all students and they know the meaning of family. Bus drivers can escalate or de-escalate a situation involving students before they arrive at school and before they arrive home at the end of the school day.
Bus drivers do more than just drive the bus. When you see an APS bus, waive and give thanks. Bus drivers interact and have conversations with students everyday. They talk to students and they bond with students. Bus drivers connect with students that they pick-up and deliver at home daily. Bus drivers like teachers work directly with children. They are transporting our most valuable possession and the future, our children. Support bus drivers in APS. Children first.
Bus drivers and supporters, let me hear from you. (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text