Around 140 school bus drivers in Calvert County called out sick Monday to protest their working conditions. Dozens took to the streets.
The drivers say they have been given longer routes and more children to carry. In addition, they said their pay has been frozen and are losing some of their benefits.
Drivers say they do not mean to inconvenience parents and students, but they have been left no other alternative than to protest outside the school administration building.
The superintendent, Dan Curry, has been in negotiations with the bus drivers. Curry said that there was a 4% pay increase at the beginning of the year, but that increase goes to contractors that employ drivers.
School bus drivers are not school system employees, but rather work for contractors that have been contracted by the school board, the superintendent said.
Curry said that if the pay increase hasn't been received, drivers should take it up with the contractors.
There is a meeting scheduled Friday with bus drivers and administration.
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About 14 of the district's 25 schools were expected to be affected.
The superintendent advised parents to prepare driving their kids on Monday as a result of the driver shortage.