Some Wake County school bus drivers no-show again Monday in ongoing pay dispute

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some students trying to get to and from school in Wake County on Monday had trouble once again.

Wake County Public School System bus drivers participated in a sick-out Friday to push for better compensation and working conditions. At least some of them continued the protest Monday.

"Unfortunately the buses aren't running for us. But we're getting them there, thank goodness," parent Chris Van Ooteghen said. "Fortunately I'm off today. Normally it'd be a little bit of a challenge. My wife and I would have to juggle that."

The district said 440 out of 600 buses were running on Monday.

The school bus drivers say they're being forced to drive extra routes every day without getting paid any more for those routes.

That's because Wake County (and many other districts) already have a shortage of bus drivers. WCPSS already offered sign-up incentives and increased wages to try and hire more drivers.

"I think that they don't have the very best working circumstances, so we support them," parent Jen Daugherty said as she finished her 30-minute commute to take her child to school and set off back home. "We are in the car, driving to school. We live quite a ways away, as part of the magnet program."

As of Monday, there's no word on how long the sick-out will last or what the district is doing to get all buses running on time. The school district launched an app and tracking website for families and students to watch for their bus.

"I hope it gets worked out for everybody's benefit," Van Ooteghen said. "We'll do it as long as we need to."
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