44.6 F
Thursday, March 30, 2023
ArlingtonAPS tries to smooth over difficulties with its bus drivers

APS tries to smooth over difficulties with its bus drivers

Must Read

At least judging by the length and specificity of its most recent response, Arlington school leaders appear to be increasingly sensitive to ongoing criticism lobbed in their direction by bus drivers and activists who support them.

“Our drivers and attendants are valued members of the APS team,” the school system said in a lengthy missive posted online Nov. 22. “We have taken many steps to address the concerns of some of our drivers regarding compensation, culture and climate, and we continue working with our transportation team to ensure we retain excellent school-bus drivers in Arlington.”

A paragraph later, the school system seemed to intimate that the public, or drivers themselves, were being misled on some issues.

“There is a lot of misinformation about our efforts to support bus drivers, specifically related to the topic of summer-school bonuses and compensation,” school officials said.


The school leadership said that while bus drivers were eligible for bonuses approved by the School Board on Nov. 16, there were reasons they were left out of an earlier bonus scheme for working during summer school.

“Teachers are 10-month employees and there is no requirement to staff summer school. Drivers are 11-month employees and are already contracted to support summer school,” school officials said. “The bonus program for teachers was communicated to all staff multiple times in April.”

Currently, school-bus drivers in Arlington earn $21.59 to $35.60 per hour, depending on senority, a rate lower than that in Prince William and Loudoun counties but at the moment largely higher than in Alexandria, Fairfax County and Falls Church.

As for complaints that bus drivers are being treated poorly by supervisors and those higher up the administrative ranks? “We understand some drivers have concerns about the work culture and climate, and that is something we take very seriously,” school leaders said.

Arlington Public Schools already has taken steps to provide, as recently was allowed (but not required) by the General Assembly, collective-bargaining rights for its employees, so issues related to bus drivers could soon be handled over the bargaining table.

- Advertisement -

Latest News

New School Board member receives liaison assignments

New Arlington School Board member Bethany Sutton has her assignments. School Board members on Feb. 2 are expected to approve...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This