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Waynesboro Area School Board votes to hike pay for school bus drivers

October 17, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Hiking bus drivers' hourly and mileage rates without notifying elementary school PTOs will adversely affect their field trip budgets.

So says Chris Devers, the one Waynesboro Area School Board member on Tuesday to vote against the 16.3 percent hourly pay increase and 8 percent mileage increase.

"We did the same thing to them last year without informing them," he said.

Families are fundraising to support their PTOs, and raising transportation costs suddenly without consultation is unfair, Devers said.

Superintendent Barry Dallara said the accepted increase - bringing hourly pay to $12.50 - should not negatively affect PTOs, since the district has been taking steps to further absorb field trip costs into its operating budget.

The board set mileage rates at $1.35 on Tuesday.

Devers said the school board should enact policy to take on all educational field trip costs in light of transportation increases.

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"I wouldn't be in favor of setting a resolution that we absorb additional costs," board member Michael Shea said.

Everyone has seen the price of gas increase, he said.

"We (fund transportation) for sports. Why wouldn't we do it for a trip to Renfrew, Gettysburg, Baltimore?" Devers asked.

Business Manager Caroline Dean recommended the rates last week, saying they compensate for the elimination of meal allowances.

As requested, she provided the board with figures from nearby school districts. The hourly rates ranged from $11.53 to $16.

Board member K. Marilyn Smith called the pay increase "an effort to recruit school bus drivers and make sure they're available."

"It's not about recruitment," Devers said. "It's about fair compensation."

Board member Leland Lemley was absent from the vote. Voting in favor were Lee Daywalt, Anna Bostwick-Foley, Larry Glenn, Shea, Smith, John Fitz and Stanley Barkdoll.

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