Negotiations between bus drivers’ union, employer to resume Tuesday

Durham School Services buses wait or students at Buist Academy. (Brad Nettles/ 1/22/13 Buy this photo

Charleston and Dorchester 2 school officials aren’t expecting a strike to be called on Monday morning, and school buses should operate on their regular schedules.

Durham School Services and the school bus drivers’ union were slated to resume negotiations on a new contract Tuesday.

Durham released a statement late Sunday night that it shared in the concern for the uncertainty around student transportation “that lies in the hands of the union.”

“We remain committed to reaching an agreement with the Teamsters as we continue to balance the interests of our employees, our customers and our company at the negotiating table,” wrote Durham spokeswoman Carina Noble in an email.

Durham didn’t specify which school district would be the focus of the negotiations Tuesday. Until a deal is reached, drivers could choose to strike.

Earlier on Sunday, School Superintendent Nancy McGinley said in a recorded phone call to parents that the district hadn’t been notified of a bus driver strike, although it continued to be on alert for that possibility.

“We know that this situation can change at any time, but at this time we will operate as normal,” she told parents. “I strongly recommend that you continue to identify alternative transportation plans in the event of a strike, but again, at the time that you are receiving this call, follow your normal process.”

Dorchester 2 school officials hadn’t received word of a strike, either, and buses should operate on their normal schedules.

Students in both districts should plan to go to their bus stops at their regularly scheduled pick-up time, and drop-offs should take place as scheduled.

Both school districts still are in strike preparation mode, and they will open one hour earlier than normal.

Check back with the Post and Courier for the latest information, and follow @Diette on Twitter for education news.

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