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Bus drivers will not strike, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools says after meeting with drivers

Piedmont Triad News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Bus drivers will not be striking Friday, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools said after a meeting with bus drivers Wednesday.

A group of bus drivers had begun planning a strike Friday, but after a meeting between district leaders and bus drivers on Wednesday, WS/FCS said the strike will not be happening. The meeting was not open to media, and the district has not said whether or not the meeting will lead to changes.

Forsyth County Association of Educators President Val Young, who advocates for the members of the FCAE, bus drivers, teacher’s assistants and many more school system employees., said FCAE did not support the proposed strike.

“We do not support illegal actions, so any action that is not in the realm of things we should support, we don’t assist in them,” Young said.

Young instead supported a plan to meet with district leaders to see if the bus drivers’ demands could be met.

Talk of a strike emerged amid an ongoing driver shortage in just about every county in the Piedmont Triad.

Almost two months into the school year, parents keep sending FOX8 complaints about late buses or drivers who don’t show up.

Drivers voiced concerns about low pay and what they claim are unsafe working conditions. The biggest ask among bus drivers is higher pay.

“If you never get a raise, your money stays the same, and it is really difficult to operate a household on the same pot of money when everything else is going up,” Young said.

A spokesperson for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School District told FOX8 attendance bonuses are already given. The county is also working to install better radios in all buses.

Prior to the meeting, advocates said it’s a step in the right direction but not enough.

“Some of them are 30-year vets, 35 years. And to be making less than $20 an hour, and you’ve been with a company for that long, I think that puts it into perspective,” Young said.

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