Monday, May 17, 2010

Transportation Redux

Would you like to know more about the proposed school transportation solution? (Consolidation.) So would I!

I am posting the link to the WISD transportation pages. There are three pdfs at the bottom of the page.
I thought the most interesting one was the school board presentation pdf.
I didn't realize, when I wrote the post, Heads You Win, that if the consolidation is approved, bus drivers will have to apply for their posts (no guarantees), and there will be cuts both in numbers of employees and in wages (for most districts). And--no guarantee about unionization, either.

Key point--the bulk of the savings do not come from better routing and savings on bulk purchasing of parts and gas. There are some savings there, but the bulk come from...staffing.

Expected savings:
Operations 6-7%
Wages and Benefits 8-13%
Overhead Reductions 3-5%


  1. Consolidation looks a lot like a "Privatization Redux." Essentially, drivers and monitors who get "re-hired" will be doing their same old jobs, on the same buses, serving the same parents and schools in the same districts. But they'll not be working for the same employer. The new retirement legislation will also negatively affect anyone "rehired" in the coming period. So, while consolidation is the "humane alternative" to privatization precisely because it "preserves retirement funds" (as it's being touted), it won't be same retirement we have now.

    While I'm not a professional accountant, I don't really trust the percentages you posted, from the WISD. When you look at the slide of current versus projected budgets, they show a savings of $4.25 million. They show reductions in four separate categories, the largest of which is "wages and benefits." The W&B savings amount ($3.62 million) is 85% of the $4.25 million total savings. So, I'm not sure what they mean when they say they get "8%-13% savings" from wages and benefits. The average age reduction for AA drivers an d monitors under the WISD proposed wage scale (depending upon what step a worker is at in the AAPS pay scale) is 13% (the range is 7%-20%).

    The WISD also indicates it's projections will lead to a loss of about 70 jobs: drivers, monitors and mechanics (not supervisory, though, which will increase by 3 positions).

    So, the bulk of savings is at the expense of staffing and compensation, as you say, but to a much greater degree, I think. And, if you look at the savings from the other "efficiency factors" (shall we say), which total $630,000 as a percentage of the $4.25 million savings they equal about 3%. T-h-r-e-e p-e-r-c-e-n-t. S--h-e-e-s-h.

    Thanks for blogging about this! As a driver, I really appreciate it!

  2. Correction; sorry.

    $630,000 is 15% of the overall budget reduction the WISD proposes. However, as a percentage of what districts currently pay for W&B, the savings to them is 3%. They will be saving 20% of what they now pay for W&B.