CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley said that if a drivers' strike was to occur there would be no bus transportation for students on the first day.
McGinley said during a press conference on Friday that only special needs students will be transported by bus if a strike was to happen. School officials had reported that a possible strike may occur as early as Monday.
The school district also announced that they will be establishing a hotline number which will provide more information. McGinley is urging all parents to be prepared.
Officials with the Charleston County School District say they are taking pro-active steps to curb any major inconveniences and are looking for people with a CDL-S license for a position as a bus driver. Anyone with a CDL-S license interested in applying should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Both Charleston County and Dorchester District 2 school districts have been preparing for the worst should bus drivers walk off the job. Teamsters Local 509, who are in negotiations with Durham School Services over bus drivers' working conditions, also released the following statement on Friday:
"We are working diligently at the bargaining table to resolve this, and we appreciate all the public support. The phone calls of support from teachers, principals and parents have been overwhelming."
Dorchester District 2 Superintendent Joe Pye posted on the district's Facebook page Friday night that they will follow the same plan of action as Charleston County in the event of a strike:
"On day one of a strike the district would not run buses except for special need students with transportation accommodations. After the first day the district would implement additional strategies to transport more students to and from school. Therefore, we are asking parents to take a proactive approach and to consider alternative ways to get your children to and from school on the possible first day of the strike"
Drivers in Beaufort County have not held a vote to authorize a strike.
Teachers have now been told what to be ready for should a bus driver strike happen. Charleston County Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley sent out a letter telling teachers to prepare lesson plans for a possible extended school day next Monday.
The letter tells teachers and principals to be ready to let students into classrooms early and allow them to stay late in a supervised location.
The district is working with lawyers to address tardy excuses. A message was also sent to parents to inform them that bus riders should be prepared for anything.
If there is a strike, the State Department of Education has approved allowing out of state drivers to drive Charleston County school busses.
A spokesperson for Dorchester District 2 says that the district is also working on a contingency plan in case of a bus drivers 'strike. The district has a pool of substitute drivers as well as the drivers Durham has said they will provide.
DD2 released the following statement Thursday:
Durham Transportation, transportation contractor that manages the school bus service for Dorchester School District Two, has been in negotiations with the bus drivers union this week. The meetings are still continuing with no decisions made or action taken at this time. The school district has been assured by Durham that they are developing a contingency plan for bus transportation should there be a strike by drivers. In order to be proactive, the school district is also developing a contingency plan with several possible options with the goal of preventing disruption of instruction and bus service for our students. Safety of our students is always the top priority.
As more information becomes available, we will keep parents informed of developments.
The school districts are not involved in negotiations and will not know when or if a strike will happen.