I am still amazed four years later after a transportation department change that was made during a budget crunch timeframe, that not only is the department still lacking the secretarial position, but it increased the salary and benefits level of every player involved in the situation.

  • Are the students, parents and school staff being better served by the Transportation Department’s surplus of a knowledgeable union employee (4 years ago today)?
  • Has the fact that the Transportation Coordinator was promoted to Manager, and the newly hired Transportation Coordinator (a former staff of First Student Bus Co) helped with the enormous amount of phone calls that department receives on a daily basis?
  • Have the homeless students been served with a staff person who stays at the office when a child is lost or not accounted for? (I risked insubordination for “refusing to lose a child in order to force the Board to realize we needed a 3rd person in the department”)

I find it hard to believe knowing that the district is maintaining an employee on staff (not even a union employee) waiting for the position of the transportation secretary, to once again be posted and for her to be hired. Until then, I hear the secretaries in the schools and other district operations saying they can’t get anyone to talk to in the Transportation Dept or that the carriers have been given the go-ahead to make the decisions.

When personal information is confidential regarding the students, this makes it extremely difficult for carriers to have all the facts they need when a student is missing or unaccounted for. By increasing the Transportation Manager’s salary, and her supervisor’s salary, and the newly created Coordinator’s salary THREE pay levels higher than the surplused secretary’s salary, (remember this strongly impacts their benefits – retirement, life insurance, etc) has this substantial cost increase resulted in matched increased service in the transportation department?
I think it would be fair to say in this case that the district is getting less service for more cost and that’s exactly opposite where we should be going at a time when budget cuts are affecting the classroom and the students. Does this department really need so many levels of administrators – who is doing the REAL work like talking on the phones and working with the schools and parents and carriers?
Want to know more about this whole scenario? Then push for more information to be released by the administration or the staff who were affected by this surplus, on what really took place on Nov 22, 2002. Then maybe with the public forcing answers to all of the questions, just maybe the Board will take a hard look at what really is happening not only in this department, but across the district, and not say “it’s a personnel issue”.