Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools could face a potential bus driver strike on Friday. The district says it wasn't given any official notification and learned of the possible action through local media reports.
It's unclear how many bus drivers would go on strike, but groups on social media and other outlets say an event will take place on Friday morning in front of the district's Education Building.
Bus drivers have been asking for more compensation, better radio equipment and support for added stress they've experienced during the pandemic. The district says it has responded by increasing the starting wage to $15 an hour, bonuses, and other incentives.
Superintendent Tricia McManus says a strike would hurt students and that is never the right way to make a point.
Bus drivers in the school system are public employees and striking would be a violation of state law. Val Young, president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators, says she applauds the district's recent efforts to improve pay and bus driver recruitment. But she says more investments are needed to address higher cost of living and working conditions.
“FCAE does not support an illegal action, so what we are going to do is support them by going to the table and talking to our superintendent about the needs that will help our employees do a better job.”
Young says that will happen this week as part of regular meetings with district leaders to discuss compensation for classified staff.
The school system is currently providing transportation to around 32,000 students.
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