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Transportation union pact approved by U-46 board

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved, of a five-year agreement with the District U46 Transportation Union (DUTU) at its meeting on Monday, April 26.
  The contract runs through 2025 and includes annual pay raises of nearly 4 percent for each DUTU category of employee.
  “The DUTU tentative agreement is a five-year agreement,” said Jeff King, deputy superintendent of operations. “It introduces an eight-year salary schedule. The work year is reduced by one day, from 193 to 192. It will also allow us to assign 20 percent of the fleet which will hopefully help us balance the wear and tear on our equipment. We will be able to implement limits regarding the frequency that drivers can give up their routes which should help build consistency for all of our students.”
  Additionally, King said there were changes to training and absenteeism as well as it eliminated a cap on how many “employees that could retire with access to benefits if they are eligible.”
  The contract was not posted for the public prior to the vote nor for several days after. It was attached to the board’s online agenda on April 30 after The Examiner submitted a Freedom of Information Act request.
  Hourly wages range from $13.85 to $18.58 for route assistants, $17.37 to $22.86 for escorts/custodians, $19.50 to $25.66 for bus drivers/shop clericals, $20.08 to $26.42 for dispatcher trainers/inspection compliance clerks/fleet assistants, $20.75 to $27.31 for route trip advisors, $26.23 to $34.52 for mechanics and $27 to $35.53 for lead mechanics. There is one rate, $18.24, for bus washers and fleet inspectors.
  Additionally, there are stipends of between $750 to $1,600 depending on where an employee is on the pay scale.
  Employees for less than a year receive 0.83 vacation days per month, 10 days a year with one to five years with the district and one day added each year after five years with 20 days max.
  Health, life, employment, dental and disability insurance are also offered as well as insurance during disability, protection for tools, a flexible spending account and an employee assistance program.

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