Atlanta Public School bus drivers continue protests – show up at the superintendent’s home and then skip mediation meeting

As reported by the AJC, the Atlanta Public School bus drivers continue their protest on a number of issues, including their pay and working conditions. The drivers protested at the bus yard and then in front of Superintendent Davis’ home. Mr. Davis was not there and so, per the AJC,

Union officials then filed “a missing person’s report” due to Mr. Davis avoiding conversations with the workers.

 The report quoted a bus driver, who said,

“This problem has been going on since July,” said Quentin Hutchins, a bus driver for Atlanta Public Schools for 16 years …All we’re asking for is the right pay. They called us back off of vacation early and no one seems to know what’s going on back at the central office. It’s just dysfunctional downtown…They always cancel meetings, they cancel mediation…

APS takes a slightly different view,

Atlanta Public Schools administration has responded to the bus drivers to find a resolution to their concerns,” said APS spokeswoman Kimberly Green in a statement Wednesday. “A mediation was scheduled this morning, but representatives of the bus drivers cancelled the meeting informing APS administrators that, ‘the mediation scheduled for Wednesday has been taken off the calendar.’

In addition, APS spokesperson Green stated that,

…the APS bus driver’s pay is comparable to other systems and that the district has not provided cost of living increases to employees since 2009.

The issue regarding APS’s failure to pay for the five days is just simply bogus. The drivers will be paid for the 180 days they work – just like they have been in the past. This year the schedule was adjusted to cover a different 180 days than last year. CFO Burbridge commented in a WSBTV report (see here),

there is no loss in pay. There is no additional work days. We are just  swapping, a change in the calendar,” said Burbridge.

In addition, there are a couple of points that should be stressed.

  • The working conditions and lack of a pay raise in five years are legitimate issues.
  • If you are protesting with the intent of getting a meeting to resolve the issue, then DON’T cancel the meeting offered.
  • Protesting APS officials for how they conduct their official duties are fine – doing it at their homes is despicable and way out of line.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]

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