(Washington, DC) – Mayor Bowser today announced a three-year agreement with AFSCME 1959, the largest union at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education Division of Student Transportation (OSSE DOT), on a new contract that will bring more than 1,000 OSSE DOT bus drivers and attendants to pay parity with other DC Government employees by the next fiscal year. The contract, which is retroactive to fiscal year 2018, was ratified by union members last night and now goes to the Council of the District of Columbia for final approval.
“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,” said Mayor Bowser. “This is a great deal that reflects strong cooperation and partnership and represents greater economic opportunity for dedicated DC 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 students with disabilities. OSSE DOT drivers must have passenger and school bus endorsements, training in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and must undergo certain background checks to work with children, along with the standardly required Commercial Driver’s License. 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.
Bowser Administration officials will visit with OSSE bus drivers and attendants this month to thank staff and AFSCME 1959 members for their diligent service. OSSE DOT drivers and attendants travel more than 25,000 miles daily and transport students in kindergarten through 12th grade whose individualized education programs require transportation to and from more than 200 public and nonpublic schools throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia.