Franklin Co. bus driver strike continues; school board passes motion for budget changes
WINCHESTER, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Franklin County School Board passed a motion regarding changes to their budget after bus drivers went on strike due to low pay.
They had expected a $10,000 pay raise, which was in the school board’s budget. County Commissioners denied that budget Monday night, because it included a new activity center, according to a WCDT radio broadcast.
“We just kind of waited and waited for a phone call from the school district, and nothing came in until early this morning,” Samantha Troicke, who has children in the school system, said. “We didn’t get the call until 10 minutes before the buses would have run. So, it would have been a big disaster because typically, I would have already left for work.”
Long lines could be seen at the county schools Tuesday morning, with parents scrambling to make arrangements to get their kids to school.
“It’s kind of mind-blowing how it happened, and I mean, transportation for the kids is number one in my opinion,” Ed Troicke said.
Since the bus drivers went on strike, Franklin County Schools say eight drivers returned to complete their afternoon routes.
The school board met at 7:30 p.m. in the hopes to try to find a solution that would get them all behind the wheel. After the meeting, school board members moved a motion to send their budget back to the county commissioners in an effort to put more money back in the pockets of bus drivers and other support staff who haven’t seen a raise in years.
“They deserve a raise. The price of everything has gone through the roof,” Samantha Troicke said. “So I completely understand. I think the Board of Education and the county have failed them. They failed all these students that don’t have a way to school or home from school now.”
Attempts to speak with Franklin County Director of School Stanley Bean were not successful.
“Let’s get these buses back on the road, let’s get the drivers what they deserve. Not what y’all want to pay, what they deserve,” Jason Rieben.
School officials said the school bus drivers still plan to strike on Wednesday, and only five routes will be active.
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