WASHINGTON, D.C. — The city’s mayor announced an agreement last week with the largest union at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education Division of Student Transportation (OSSE DOT) on pay for bus drivers and aides.
The new three-year contract with the AFSCME 1959 will bring more than 1,000 division bus drivers and attendants to pay parity with other Washington, D.C., government employees by the next fiscal year, according to a news release from the OSSE DOT. The contract is retroactive to fiscal year 2018.
“We are excited to offer OSSE DOT bus drivers and attendants a contract that recognizes and rewards them for the important work they perform year-round,” Bowser said. “This is a great deal that reflects strong cooperation and partnership and represents greater economic opportunity for dedicated D.C. government employees.”
The new contract also offers benefits consistent with other district employees or drivers in similar positions, such as holiday pay and administrative closing pay, and incentives for improved service, such as premiums for safe driving and on-time arrivals.
Additionally, the contract compensates OSSE DOT drivers and attendants for the additional endorsements required to transport and work with special-needs students. OSSE DOT drivers must have passenger and school bus endorsements, training in first aid and CPR, and must undergo certain background checks to work with children, along with the standard required Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
The OSSE DOT bus drivers and attendants represented by Teamsters 639 will also receive pay parity with the bus drivers and attendants represented by AFSCME 1959.
OSSE DOT drivers and attendants travel more than 25,000 miles daily and transport K-12 students whose individualized education programs (IEPs) require transportation to and from more than 200 public and non-public schools throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, according to the OSSE DOT.