Davis County school bus drivers have taken a cut in salary and benefits by accepting a new contract ratified by the Davis County School Board.

The contract approved by drivers and other classified employees, including cooks and custodians, will mean that drivers will take between 69 cents and $1.11 cut in their hourly wage. District officials said the drivers who were paid between $8.65 and $11.25 an hour made more than drivers in other districts in the state.The school board voted unanimously to accept the contract.

Bus drivers, who work only part-time, will now have their benefits prorated according to the hours they work. Drivers will also receive $7.20 an hour for extra runs rather than their normal salary, Dean Penrod, assistant superintendent, said.

Custodians and cooks who work full-time are not affected by the bus driver provisions.

"There will be no cost-of-living increases, which has been the case for the last two years," Penrod said.

Under the contract the employees will continue to pay 15 percent of insurance premiums and the district 85 percent. As with the teachers, the district has agreed to cover a $1.2 million shortfall in the insurance program.

Scheduled raises will continue to be funded. Those who have worked between 15 and 20 years and are not eligible for the scheduled raises will receive a $160 yearly bonus.

The contract also makes Utah Education Association convention time to be considered as work days for 10-, 11- and 12-month employees. The district has also agreed to train employees about procedures to follow when they come in contact with body fluids. The procedures are part of a controversial Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome policy adopted by the school board.

The district also agreed to contribute $20,000 for the next three years to provide uniforms for full-time maintenance and custodial employees. Penrod said the uniforms will help school officials more readily identify district employees and cut the risk of children being abducted by people posing as district employees.