Local News

Parents On Call to Transport Kids in Nash Co.

Posted October 1, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Many Nash County parents sent their children to school then waited around to see if they'd have to scramble to 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 work Wednesday morning. No one is certain how long those drivers will be off the job.

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

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

Tonya Brodie says she got a big shock when she opened her first paycheck 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 partly responsible. She and six other drivers decided to protest by skipping work.

Tuesday, about 300 students were stranded at Nash Central. Wednesday morning, about that many arrived at school late as substitutes and other drivers struggled with unfamiliar routes.

Nash County's School Transportation Director Don McCurley says the school has not 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 the complaints were considered. Some said they had not yet decided whether or not they would return to work.

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