DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Public School Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli spoke with reporters Thursday after school bus drivers for the district signaled their intention to walk off the job on April 10.
School bus drivers notified the school board Wednesday of their intention to strike just as students would be returning from spring break.
Dr. Lolli said in a news conference Thursday she was unsure what the precise disagreements were and pointed to raises that were in the offer given to drivers. Lolli said those raise percentages were “much higher than we’ve given any other union in the district.”
Lolli said Thursday the district is working on a plan to provide transportation if a strike occurs but would not elaborate saying she would not share that plan with anyone until it is finalized. She did say they will use contracted drivers if it becomes necessary.
“We want your children in school and we’re going to work hard to make sure that they arrive at school safely.” Lolli said. She continued, “If parents want to transport their students we will have extra personnel outside to guide the traffic.”
DPS buses handle transportation for the district’s student but also parochial and charter schools in the district.
Lolli said, “The district has given all that they can give at this point in time.” Lolli said the Dayton Public School system has not had a levy since 2008.
A tentative agreement was reached in September 2018 that included a substantial wage increase between 10 and 14 percent raise for all drivers depending on experience, an additional two percent increase for each of the two years of the contract and an additional step was added to the salary to keep the drivers in the district, drivers would receive a one-time lump sum payment to cover retroactive raises over the period of negotiations and economic benefits would stay the same.
The school board also purchased 115 new buses.
That deal was never ratified by the union members and if no new deal is reached the buses will stop rolling on April 10.
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