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Ava Bus Route Owners Association Statement from 12-16-2019

The Ava Bus Route Owners Association sent this statement to the Douglas County Herald regarding its position on the Equipment Usage Agreement the Ava School Board is requiring them to sign.

DECEMBER 16, 2019

In November the bus drivers received a letter from Superintendent Dr. Jason Dial dated November 21, 2019. The letter stated that he was directed to move ahead with purchasing cameras “for all district owned busses [sic] and any contractor buses where the contractor agrees to the installation and operation of the camera equipment.” Clearly, the letter states that the cameras will be installed on the contractor’s buses if the contractor/owner agrees to it. We were to sign the vague Equipment Usage Agreement and return it to Dr. Dial by the end of the day, Monday November 25, 2019. There were no Usage Agreement Guidelines accompanying this letter so we had no idea what the Usage Agreement entailed until we were presented with four guideline statements a day after we received the letters from Dr. Dial. 

None of the drivers were willing to agree to sign such a vague agreement that was not a legal document and contained no legal protections for us and did not include any stipulations that we had asked for. 

We then received, via certified mail, another letter, this one stating it was from the Ava R-1 Board of Education, although there were no signatures of any kind on it. This letter claimed that since we had not returned the first Usage Agreement by the deadline that, “It is the Board of Education’s opinion as well as the opinion of its legal counsel Mr. Thomas A. Mickes” “by refusing to allow cameras to be installed on your bus that you are in breach of your contract with the district.” We were given until 4:30 pm on December 16, 2019 to return a signed copy of the same Equipment Usage Agreement. The claim was that we had violated the contract by not complying with school policy under ‘staff conduct.’ 

The drivers felt that we had no recourse but to obtain legal counsel of our own. The bus route owners of the Ava School district have faithfully served this community for over 60 years. All they have ever asked for was to be treated and paid fairly and be allowed to do their jobs.