The Columbia County Board of Education has settled a 2-year-old lawsuit with 38 of its bus drivers.
The school system will pay the drivers $563.73, plus $182.24 for attorney fees.
This is the same amount of money the school system paid to all of its drivers after the grievance was initially brought in September 2002.
"Most of them accepted the settlement over a year ago, but a few held out," School Superintendent Tommy Price said.
The lawsuit's settlement will also allow union members to have their dues taken out of their paychecks and provide union representation on the bus driver advisory committee.
In the initial grievance, drivers had asked to be paid from the time they left home. However, bus drivers are allowed to take their buses home, and school officials said that method would favor those who lived farther from their first stop. Bus drivers are now paid from the time they pick up their first child, said Charles Nagle, associate superintendent for student and school services.
Drivers had also complained they weren't compensated for time attending workshops, fueling and pre- and post- trip inspections. In a compromise, the system offered to pay drivers $1,500 a year as a supplement for these duties, Nagle said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.