Negotiations to avoid potential bus driver strike resume Tuesday

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Superintendent Nancy McGinley with the Charleston County School District says negotiations will continue between the Teamsters Union and Durham School Services through Thursday.

Earlier on Monday, officials from the Charleston County School District and Dorchester District 2 both issued statements announcing they do not expect an imminent strike.

"We hope going into this strike is not necessary but we still don't know what will happen," McGinley said during a school board meeting Monday night. McGinley said that the district still does not know what will happen, but said that teachers will not have to be in "strike mode" again until a strike actually happens.

According to McGinley, the district will meet every morning to go over their action plan.

CCSD spokesman Jason Sakran said school officials plan to follow the normal daily process on Tuesday for transporting students to and from school on school buses. Sakran says 50 people  have applied to be bus drivers in the event of a strike and 26 of those have completed their application.

School buses should report at the normal location, at the normal pick-up time, and will drop off at the normal location, and normal drop-off time, he said.

CCSD continues to recommend that parents identify alternative transportation plans in the event of a strike. In the event of a strike, the ONLY students who will receive transportation on the first day of the strike, will be those special education children who utilize a wheel chair.

Similarly, Dorchester District 2 spokesperson Pat Raynor said Monday there is no indication that a strike is imminent in the negotiations between Durham School Services and the bus driver union, Teamsters Local 509, that began last week.

However, DD2 officials have provided more details on contingency options being considered in the case of a strike. They include:

  • On day one of a called strike, the district would not run any buses except those for special needs students whose IEPs include travel accommodations. Parents will be asked to provide transportation that day to allow time to implement alternative transportation plans.
  • School staff will be on campus an hour before school begins and remain until students are picked up to accommodate parents who may be adjusting schedules to pick up their children should a strike occur.
  • Bell schedules may be staggered to allow bus service for the maximum number of students, depending on the number of substitute drivers secured.

On Monday, bus drivers and monitors represented by the Teamsters union also voted to authorize a strike in Beaufort County, the third Lowcountry county serviced by Durham School Services.

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