There is still the threat of a bus driver strike in Charleston County.Durham School Services, which provides school bus service for Charleston County schools, held a news conference Wednesday to update parents on the contract talks with the Teamsters Union.
Durham Chairman John Elliott called the Union’s demand for a wage hike of a $1.50 an hour “beyond reason”. The union then lowered its demand to an eight percent hike, or a dollar more an hour.
Wednesday, the Durham offer was an hourly hike of $.45.
There has not yet been any word on the union’s response to that. Elliott also says there is a language issue in the negotiations.
“That involves the Union’s demand that we enter into a no-strike clause that gives them the opportunity to strike in sympathy to another strike that might occur someplace else,” said Elliott.
Elliott said Durham is continuing to try to cover all the routes should a strike occur.
“Realistically we have some 420 drivers and monitors in Charleston. If everyone went on strike we would not be able to cover all of the rights,” says Elliott. “We would work with the district and they are putting together a plan as we are to determine what remains a priority, how do you get it covered both in the first day and beyond.”
Elliott did say he regrets parents have to deal with wondering if the buses will run but puts the blame on the union.