Story and photos by Jo Mathis, AAPS District News
The Ann Arbor School Board voted 6-1 to approve a three-year, $16.72 million busing contract with Durham School Services beginning July 1.
The district’s five-year contract with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District concludes at the close of this school year.
This Friday, Durham will begin meeting with current WISD Transportation staff to explain the hiring process as well as collaborating with the WISD and AAPS to transition services starting this summer.
Marios Demetriou, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, explained last month that the committee recommends the suburban Chicago-based Durham partly because it receives excellent references from Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Rochester, & Southfield school districts.
Durham would also increase hourly pay for current drivers, with new hires starting at $16. Those now earning $13 to $14.75 an hour would receive $16; $15 to $15.75 an hour, $17; and $16 to $16.50 an hour, $18.
Monitors would also receive raises, with new hires starting at $12 an hour.
The raises average about $3 an hour, and are based on fair market rates.
Durham has 10 operations in southeast Michigan. Durham management would move into an office at the AAPS transportation garage at Balas.
Justin Greibel, Durham’s director of business development, told the board last month that “our desire is to hire as many of the folks you have in place as we can.”
He said when Durham entered into a contract with Plymouth-Canton, for instance, the company hired 93 percent of the drivers.
Greibel said he would expect to hire about 120 drivers and 30 monitors, a management staff of nine, and six maintenance personnel.
WISD currently employs 105 drivers and 30 monitors.