NC’s largest school system warns parents of possible bus driver absences due to strike

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake County School District is warning parents after some school bus drivers didn’t show up for work on Friday and that it may happen again Monday, WTVD reported.

Bus drivers for the state’s largest school system called in sick on Friday to protest working conditions, which prompted administrators to urge parents to arrange their own transportation. They warned of similar problems this week.

On Sunday, WTVD reported that the school district sent a letter to parents, telling them that “bus driver absences could disrupt transportation services” on Monday.

”The affected areas will most likely be the routes that did not run Friday,” the letter said. “If possible, parents should arrange their own transportation for their students if their bus route is affected.”

The district didn’t say how many bus drivers participated in the strike on Friday, but said 400 of the 600 buses operated by the system were running Friday. Bus drivers have said concerns about being overworked and underpaid haven’t been addressed.

Many parents said their children walked to school, or they were driven to school when their buses didn’t show up. The Wake County system has 160,000 students, and up to half of them ride the bus in a normal year.

Wake County Superintendent Cathy Moore and school board chairman Keith Sutton sent a message to staff members.

“The pay and salary structure for the work we do is not adequate,” the message said. “Our bus drivers shone a harsh light on this reality.”

Moore and Sutton also said many drivers have to run as many as six routes a day without receiving extra compensation. They said most school staffers are in the same situation.

The Wake County school board meets Tuesday and is expected to discuss the bus driver issue, WTVD reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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