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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Seminole County school bus drivers plan sick-out protest over wages

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2021 at 1:44 PM

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Some Seminole County school bus drivers are planning to protest low wages and long hours with a sick-out on Friday, calling in to work to flex their importance to the district.

According to a report from WESH, the protest is not union-backed. The local school bus drivers association is aware of the planned action, but not a part of it.



"We have a great relationship with the district, we don't want to ruin that relationship and more so, we don't want our children standing at bus stops in the dark, unsupervised without parents, that's what's most discouraging or disheartening to us," said Seminole County School Bus Drivers Association head Chardo Richardson.

Seminole County Public Schools released a statement saying that children would still be able to ride the bus, albeit with delays.

"If that were to occur, we would do our best to share with families ahead of time (i.e. Thursday) so that those that have the ability to drop their children off in the morning or pick them up could do so or make other transportation arrangements (such as carpool) so that it doesn't disrupt their family's schedule or work-day," they said. "For those that simply are unable to make other arrangements, our drivers would continue to make multiple runs and return to schools until every child is brought home safely. However, this would mean potential delays both that morning and afternoon."

Seminole County recently added a bonus structure for new driver hires, hoping to encourage applicants and address their driver shortage. School bus drivers in the county currently start at a wage of less than $15 per hour, an insanely low amount for someone trusted with the health and safety of dozens of schoolchildren at a time.

If you have the ability to do so on Friday, it might be a good day to keep your child home. Today's lesson: never cross a picket line.



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