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DPS Bus Drivers Announce Intent To Strike

Larry Darling
Flickr Creative Commons

A union representing Dayton school bus drivers has declared intent to strike after months of failed contract negotiations with the district. The announcement comes less than a year after the district narrowly avoided a teacher strike.

If a deal is not reached, more than 150 drivers plan to strike on April 10. That’s a day after students are set to return to school after Spring Break. It would also coincide with state required testing, according to a district press release.

District bus drivers currently transport about 10,000 children to and from public, parochial, and charter schools. All of these students are younger than high school age.

The Local 627 chapter of Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) has been in negotiations with DPS since last June. Sticking points in contract talks include wages, benefits, and the district’s process for tracking driver work hours.

DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said the board is not planning to return to the bargaining table before the strike date.

“The district has given all that it can give at this point in time.”

Lolli says they are preparing a backup transportation plan in case of a strike. Details of that plan have not been released.

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April Laissle is a graduate of Ohio University and comes to WYSO from WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio where she worked as a weekend host and reporter. There, she reported on everything from food insecurity to 4-H chicken competitions. April interned at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where she focused on health reporting. She also worked on The Broad Experience, a New-York based podcast about women and workplace issues. In her spare time, April loves traveling, trying new recipes and binge-listening to podcasts. April is a Florida native and has been adjusting to Ohio weather since 2011.