DeKalb Superintendent Green vs Disgruntled School Bus Drivers

Fired drivers demand their jobs back

April 26, 2018

(Photo Credit: Entercom Atlanta)

Categories: 

The leader of Georgia's largest school system says he'd like for the district to move forward. DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Greene wants to put in the past the recent "sick out" by close to half of the system's almost 900 bus drivers. He was to meet with the drivers today.  

The strike began on Thursday, April 19, with 42% of the drivers refusing to come to work. Replacement drivers were brought in. Buses from other metro areas were used to get students to school. Parents had to either drive their children, or find other ways to get them there. 

On the first day of the strike, 7 of the drivers were fired for encouraging others to participate. 

The 3-day "sick out" ended Monday.

The drivers said they wanted better pay and benefits. The district distributed a report which indicated that the DeKalb school bus drivers are among the highest paid in the region and with an array of benefits. It also said that the drivers have received 5 cost-of-living raises since 2014.

For the drivers remaining on the job, Green says, "we're chomping away at a range of different things on their list." Green, after meeting with about 350 drivers, says there are about 50 items (grievances) that they'd like resolved. After today's gathering, Green says weekly meetings will continue.

Listen to the full interview and learn more about what Green is trying to do to make ammends.

As for the drivers fired for encouraging others to not show up for work, they held a news conference this morning, inches from the district's property line. They are vowing to fight to get their jobs back. "Illegitimate" is the term they use to describe the drivers that remain on the job. The strike organizers say they were not invited to today's meeting.

Click here to hear what the bus drivers had to say.