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Still No Agreement Between DPS And Bus Drivers

Dayton Public Schools bus drivers are planning a strike. The Ohio Association of Public Schools Employees Local #627 filed its intent to strike last week.

Members have said they want an increase in the hourly wage for beginning bus drivers to stay competitive with neighboring districts that offer about $2 more per hour, as well as paid training days. And after another meeting Monday, the union and Dayton school board are no closer to an agreement.

The first day of the strike is set for April 21, which also happens to be the first day of the state-mandated Third Grade reading test. A letter from DPS Superintendent Lori Ward posted on the district website says school will remain open, though there were no other specific details about back-up plans.

The district's drivers transport more than 11,000 students every day including kids who attend charter, private and parochial schools. Parents who have questions about the potential strike can contact the district hotline between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. at (937) 542-3010.

The district held a job fair Monday looking for substitute bus drivers, but a DPS spokesperson says the timing was a coincidence. Union leaders didn’t respond to a request for comment.

At a town hall meeting last month, parents complained about late busses and Superintendent Ward told the audience she was considering outsourcing transportation.

The school board and union are expected to meet again Wednesday.