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remarked. “When we have a monthly safety meeting, we usually have a potluck luncheon, and sometimes we will have a food truck or some ice cream. These are little things, but they go a long way. We are a big family.” San Marcos transportation employees receive exten-


sive, ongoing training and they have plenty of support. Each bus has four onboard cameras, so if a fight breaks out, video can determine what happened. And if a driver is involved in a crash, they will be treated fairly during an investigation. If there are traffic problems causing a driver to be late, the dispatch system will provide an effective backup. Bus drivers are encouraged to work with dispatch to determine the best route. “We support our employees if they did what they were supposed to be doing,” said Sawyer. People like their jobs at San Marcos, he explained, be-


cause of the flexibility driving the bus affords. “We have a lot of students working for us. They will drive for us and then go to school. We have drivers who want to be home during the day and spend more time with their family,” he said.


Those who want to work more and earn more money


can pick up extra work driving students to sports events and other activities. The drivers receive a pay raise every year and top out at $23.05 an hour. They are covered by a


union contract, and also receive paid vacation, paid sick time and two floating holidays. The drivers also receive full health benefits. “There are plenty of opportunities to make extra money,” said Sawyer. “We have a lot of drivers with over 20 years of service. We are a big family and we don’t have a lot of turnover.” Ryan Hahn, a former school bus driver, transportation


director and now a consultant based in Sonora, Cali- fornia, said it is important to create trust by following through on what you say you will do. He said he has worked in districts where there was a lack of trust among managers and employees. They were promised things they never received. “Do what you say and say what you mean. I worked in a place where employees had been promised a new building for years. A superintendent [finally] made it happen,” said Hahn. Hahn added, “It is important to get feedback from


drivers and get ideas from drivers. If you give people a reason why you are implementing something, they will probably be more accepting of it.” Being honest and up-front is a key ingredient to build- ing trust. It is also important to stand up for workers who are doing their jobs and to hold people accountable. For Hahn, it is also helpful to recognize bus drivers for their efforts. “Many times, the transportation department is


Buck’s Since 1951


Buck’s Wheel & Equipment “We are the school bus parts specialists”


Buck’s Wheel & Equipment is your #1 source for School Bus Parts. Buck’s Wheel supplies all your major bus parts including Switches, Lights, Seats, Seat Covers, Bluebird, Tomas and also International parts. Please contact your sales representative for any further details and shipping.


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