School bus drivers say strike is possible before first day of class

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ed Houston is one of the unionized bus drivers for local 984.  He said many of his union’s  men and women have been carrying kids to school for 30 or 40 years with the former Memphis City Schools.

“It’s not a job at the bottom of the barrel, we’re asking for dignity and respect,” said Union President Terry Lovan.

Their contract is up with Durham, the company that MCS used to bring kids to school. But Durham also agreed to bus kids for the suburban schools in addition to the new SCS, so a problem with Durham means a problem for everyone.

Durham’s bus drivers don’t have a completed contract and their latest offer is expected to be rejected.

“If y’all vote this down, will you strike?” WREG asked.

“It’s a possibility,” said Lovan.

The news shocked parents and school leaders around the area. The suburbs have drivers who aren’t part of the union, so it’s possible they might get all their drivers Monday.

But suburban leaders say their non-union workers may have to cover for the union workers if they strike in Memphis.

“It really is incumbent on Durham to work this out with the union,” said Shelby County Board Member Shante Avant.

They only have until Monday morning to make a deal, if they don’t, bus drivers say our children’s safety could be at risk.

“Parents need to be concerned who will be behind the wheel of the bus hauling their kids,” said Houston.

9 comments

  • Unions are Great

    Has anyone noticed that labor unions ALWAYS contribute and vote Democrat? The Democrat politician then ALWAYS passes legislation to give the union workers more pay and benefits and the non-union private sector taxpayer ALWAYS gets the bill. What a racket. Why aren’t those great Democrat bastions of liberalism unionized? You know like, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Wal-Mart. And these same Democrat companies who aren’t unionized are 100% in favor of amnesty and open borders. Hard to believe the American voter is so stupid as to keep electing these Democrat socialists. Instead of one America, a United America, a Government of the People America, we are so dumbed down that the politicians, bankers, corporatists, have us divided and are getting rich from their corruption.

    • UNIONS ARE THE DOWNFALL OF AMERICA

      these “union” employees failed miserably last year…. FIRE THEM ALL! You earn respect, its not an entitlement.

  • Christine

    This is what happens when Shelby County Schools privatized the bus service. I had a family member that used to transport students for Memphis City Schools. If a student is smoking weed on a bus, they are told not to call the police. Also if students are fighting the bus driver can not put their hands on them to stop it. In the Shelby School system they had cameras on the bus. Also Shelby County Schools may not have enough drivers. Shelby County School Board made a mess of things with this privatized the schools bus service. You can not blame the union on this. They are doing what they are suppose to do and that is to look out for the best interest on its members. Also I hope that the Citizens of Memphis reject the sales tax increase. Most of the retirees do not live in Memphis.

  • Tack

    We shouldn’t have to pay to bus kids around anyway! Parents should have to take care of their responsibilities and not freeload off the taxpayers.

  • Janis F

    If the contract is up then Durham should be able to go outside and hire new drivers. These guys can go find new work. Hold a press conference Durham and let the parents know they the drivers do not want to renew so we will be looking for new drivers. Next ..

  • youhavegottobekidding

    Kids have been taking buses for many years. These lazy union workers need to just quit and let someone who wants to work take their job.

  • Mary J

    I agree with Janis .. If the contract has finished it’s term then why are we being held hostage by them? Durham should be able to look for new “contracts” to sign. If I sign a contract to buy a car and then fulfill my contract .. am I forced to go back to the same dealership for my next car? Must be more to this …

  • Arguenot

    The Union thinks public sentiment will always be on their side as it has in the long ago. But people are tired of the public sector getting less and less, and watching Unions demand more and more.
    The implied threat to our children’s safety was the last bit of nonsense that decided me.
    Durham, hire new people, there are plenty looking for work.

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