Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) are experiencing interruptions in school bus services. In the last two days of school, about 25 percent of school buses CCPS contracted were not in service on Charles County roads. This led CCPS to ask parents and families to make backup or replacement arrangements for their children to go to and from school.
CCPS contracts with 26 independent bus companies with contractors who provide bus services for the school system. There are 280 buses that serve a total of 718 routes in Charles County and provide out-of-county transportation for specialty program students.
A bus can serve up to four schools. CCPS contractors as well as transportation staff cover as many trips as possible, but are not able to cover all trips without a sufficient number of bus drivers. CCPS publishes transportation updates on its website at ccboe.com. Updates are shared with parents and community members as they are received by staff. In addition, CCPS is not always informed in advance of a driver who does not show up for a route.
As of Friday, October 22, 2021, a total of 74 school buses did not operate, leaving 186 routes without a driver or bus service. This means that 26% of the routes were not completed. A total of 37 CCPS schools were affected by driver calls on Friday. A total of 14 bus companies under contract with CCPS encountered at least one driver who did not show up for work on Friday.
Today, Monday, October 25, 2021, a total of 59 school buses did not operate, leaving 157 routes without a driver or bus service. Today, 22 percent of the routes did not work. The same 37 schools were affected by driver calls today. A total of 12 LMCC contracted bus companies have known at least one driver who did not show up for work today.
A group of bus drivers and escorts from Charles County took part in a protest this morning outside the CCPS administrative offices. Superintendent of Schools, Maria Navarro, spoke with those who gathered about setting up a meeting tomorrow to follow up on their concerns.
CCPS will continue to share any bus service disruptions with the Charles County community on ccboe.com.
Bus contract, agreements with CCPS
Bus contractors sign annual agreements with CCPS. A copy of a primary school bus service contract is posted on the school system’s website at https://www.ccboe.com/transportation/?page_id=1127. A signed contract is valid for one year and covers driver and attendant wages, health and pension benefits, and personal / sick leave for the driver and attendant.
Drivers and attendants are not CCPS employees; they are employed by independent bus companies that provide transportation services to CCPS. However, benefits negotiated through CCPS and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union for various CCPS employees also affect bus drivers and attendants.
When a cost of living adjustment, or COLA, is negotiated by CCPS and AFSCME, bus drivers and CCPS attendants also receive the increase.
Driver, payroll clerk
The basic hourly rate for a CCPS driver with one to four years of experience is $ 20.12. A fixed amount of 25 percent is added to the driver and attendant hourly rate paid to independent bus companies to cover workers’ compensation, social security, Maryland unemployment, federal unemployment, and driver compensation and attendants.
The basic hourly rate for a certified CCPS attendant with one to four years of experience is $ 14.78.
Hourly rate tables can be found on page 8 of the CCPS rate schedule posted online here.
Driver, attendant advantages
Drivers and attendants who are employed full time as a driver or attendant on a contracted bus route are eligible for benefits. This includes a minimum daily requirement of six hours per day.
Full-time drivers and escorts receive six days off, which is fully paid by CCPS. All drivers and attendants who have been employed for more than four years receive one additional day off per year for a maximum of 10 days in total.
Health and life insurance premiums vary among bus contractors, but CCPS offers the same amount to all contractors. A difference in premiums does not change the cost for a driver or attendant. The cost of these programs is shared by CCPS, the driver and the contractor. Drivers and accompanying persons are not required to benefit from the advantages; they are available at their choice.
For health and life insurance benefits, the basic premium is $ 10,000; CCPS pays $ 6,000; the contractor pays $ 2,000; and the driver pays $ 2,000.
For life insurance only, the base premium is $ 210; CCPS pays $ 150; the contractor pays $ 30; and the driver pays $ 30.
For retirement, the basic amount is $ 650; CCPS pays $ 487.50; the contractor pays $ 81.25; and the driver pays $ 81.25.
A further breakdown of benefits can be found on pages 8 to 10 in the CCPS tariff displayed online here.
Charles County Public Schools provide an academically stimulating education for 27,000 K-12 students. Located in southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that provide technologically advanced, progressive, high-quality education that builds character, prepares leadership, and prepares students for life, careers and life. ‘Higher Education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its employment programs, activities or practices. For any inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX / ADA / Section 504 coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX / ADA / Section 504 coordinator (employees / adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L Starkey Administration Building, BP 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610 / 301-870-3814. For special accommodations, call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks before the event.