APS News Release

APS Update on Addressing Bus Driver Concerns

Our drivers and attendants are valued members of the APS team. Over the past several months, employees in the Office of Transportation have expressed concerns regarding compensation, culture and climate. APS leadership is actively working with our transportation team to ensure we retain excellent school bus drivers in Arlington.

Below is information on steps taken and next steps to implement longer term changes. 

Workplace Concerns and Parking: HR and Transportation leaders gathered with employee focus groups and conducted a Climate Assessment this fall to better understand their concerns and make meaningful changes in workplace climate and culture. APS also added more handicapped spaces to parking areas adjacent to the transportation building and has secured 18 additional parking spaces onsite for employees. We have also added televisions, furniture and fitness center access to accommodate requests for a better work environment in between routes. 

Training and Job Descriptions: We are providing our Transportation leaders leadership training the week of December 13 and will be providing additional training and professional development for Transportation staff in the spring. Human Resources staff will be providing updated job descriptions for all positions to transportation leadership the week of December 13.

Compensation: APS is conducting a Compensation Study and beginning the FY 23 budget process. As part of this, we will be looking to ensure all employee salaries are market competitive with the highest paying divisions in our region.

  • Bus driver compensation is competitive with other local school divisions, and we will look at adjustments that need to be made as part of the Compensation Study.
  • Our drivers received a 2% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for fiscal year 2022 and will be eligible for a step increase in early 2022, like other employee groups, as noted in the approved FY 2022 budget.
  • Drivers and attendants received a 4.1% increase for three consecutive years – FY 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020, for a total of 12.3% prior to FY 2021.
  • Bus driver compensation range:
    • School Division Hourly Range
      Arlington Public School $21.59 – $35.60
      Alexandria City Public Schools $20.70 – $34.22
      Fairfax County Public Schools $22.92 – $35.35
      Falls Church City Public Schools $20.01 – $36.26
      Loudoun County Public Schools $22.16 – $38.51
      Prince William County Public Schools $19.53 – $38.79

Summer School Bonuses: These bonuses were a one-time incentive to recruit teachers for the in-person summer school program.  Only T-scale and A-scale staff were eligible for the bonus. Communication regarding the summer school bonuses indicated the eligible employee groups.

Dec. 6 Bonus: The School Board approved a $1,000 bonus for full-time employees and a prorated amount for part-time/hourly staff on Nov. 16. Bonuses will be delivered on Dec. 6 to employees hired on or before Nov. 1, 2021.