JPS bus drivers cite no pay raises and driver shortages - - Jackson, MS

JPS bus drivers cite no pay raises and driver shortages

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

JPS bus drivers held a private meeting Friday at New Kearny Creek Baptist Church. The media was not allowed in, but we did get our hands on this petition, listing the bus drivers demands and concerns.

The drivers say they haven't had a pay raise since 2004 and due to a shortage of drivers, they say they're having to drive multiple routes, which is causing fatigue and health problems.

"The concerns are were short of bus drivers and it's a lot on certain drivers and when there's a shortage that puts a strain on the whole system as far as the kids getting to school on time," said bus driver, James Moore.

Drivers are also voicing concerns for safety.  Some say they're constantly being threatened by students, and they're not getting help from the district with discipline problems.

As far as wages, they're wanting a $100 a day raise. Some parents support their position.

"With conditions the way they are with kids bringing weapons to school and you don't know what's in their backpacks and you don't know what home life is like for these kids, so yeah, I can understand why they want a bit more in their paycheck," said parent, Brian Hunt.

The bus drivers say that disciplinary problems on the busses have escalated since Superintendent Gray was appointed.

They claim that if they write the students up, they're placed right back on the bus to continue their negative behavior. They accuse district officials of not stepping in, just to keep attendance records up.

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