EDUCATION

DCPS school bus drivers face furloughs or 40 percent pay cut

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Bus drivers for the D.C. Public Schools are outraged over what could be a 40 percent cut in pay.

They say they ensure the city's most precious cargo – children, including those with special needs – make it to school each day.

But instead of being rewarded, they say their pay will be slashed.

One driver says, "We were hit with this as we came in this morning.”

It was a meeting with Ryan Solchenberger, the Director of Student Transportation in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

They learned the director was either going to furlough 800 workers or choose to cut work hours from seven hours per day to four.

"I cannot live off that," says driver Jacqueline Graves. "We're already working seven hours a day. We're living paycheck to paycheck."

Some drivers reportedly walked off the job, potentially leaving thousands of special needs students stranded.

Buses did eventually roll, but drivers say this decision has left them financially stranded.

"It’s no way you can survive off  four hours,” says one driver. “You have to pay taxes, medical, so what's that going to leave? $100?"

In a letter obtained by ABC7, the Division of Student Transportation informed drivers that they and their on-board attendant will be limited to four hours per day. But drivers and attendants will still receive full benefits.

The split shift will last just six weeks, starting June 18. And each driver will return to full duty on August 12.

 

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