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Parents On Call to Transport Kids in Nash Co.

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NASHVILLE — Many Nash County parents sent theirchildren to school then waited around to see if they'd have to scrambleto get the kids home in the afternoon. Problems with bus drivers plague both Wake and Nash County this week.

One group of drivers who failed to work Tuesday did not return to workWednesday morning. No one is certain how long those drivers will be offthe job.

Seven Nash Central Junior High drivers stayed away from work Wednesdayand said they might not return in the afternoon. The drivers are disputinga new pay scale that calls for wages to be paid by the hours worked andnot, as previously, by miles driven. Drivers say they will be paid lessunder the new plan.

The county said the plan is fair, but some drivers say it is so unfairthey may not go back to work at all.

Tonya Brodie says she got a big shock when she opened her firstpaycheck of the new school year.

The paycheck was smaller because the pay period was only half as long,but Brodie says she believes the county's new hourly wage plan is partlyresponsible. She and six other drivers decided to protest by skippingwork.

Tuesday, about 300 students were stranded at Nash Central. Wednesdaymorning, about that many arrived at school late as substitutes and otherdrivers struggled with unfamiliar routes.

Nash County's School Transportation Director Don McCurley says theschool hasnot officially been notified of absentee drivers' grievances.

Later in the morning, about a dozen drivers listed their concerns.County leaders listened, but told the drivers to go back to work while thecomplaints were considered. Some said they had not yet decided whether ornot they would return to work.

After the morning meeting, the strikers were given the option ofquitting and turning in their licenses. No one did that at the time.

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