Edmond school bus drivers to protest over pay

Thursday, January 10th 2008, 10:15 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surrette, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Okla. -- Edmond schools are bracing for a severe case of what's being called the "Blue-Flu."

Edmond school buses may stay in their parking spots Friday morning, because some bus drivers are threatening to call in sick.

Edmond school bus driver Lloyd Davis said it's a protest by several bus drivers who feel they're  underpaid.

"It's pay comparability and the number of hours we work," Davis said, "We bare a large responsibility for the safety and welfare of our students."

On Wednesday, the issue was addressed during a meeting of the school board and drivers who voiced concerns about a variety of issues, including salaries. Officials said some of the drivers who planned to participate in the protest changed their minds after the meeting.

A spokeswoman for Edmond schools said  there's little that can be done about their current pay. She said once a year, a group representing the drivers negotiates salaries and they can't consider a pay raise until next year's budget is available.

Until then, drivers are invited to express their thoughts and concerns to the board, she said. Drivers also are urged to work Friday.

The school district said parents should have nothing to worry about. If drivers call in sick, substitute drivers will be available.

Several drivers said they were also unhappy with the sudden departure of the former transportation director of Edmond schools who resigned in December.