At 5:30 pm on Monday, May 14,, Dekalb County school bus drivers, parents, teachers, students, and concerned community members will be speaking out at the Dekalb County School Board meeting to demand that Superintendent Green reinstate the drivers fired during last month’s sick-out, improve safety conditions on all buses, and give drivers fair wages and benefits.
Last month Dekalb County bus drivers staged a three-day sickout with more than 400 drivers to pressure the school board to improve their working conditions after years of fruitless negotiations. Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green (who makes $300,000 a year) has fired 89 workers so far in response, which he says was to “teach them a lesson.” After reinstating one driver he says that “everything is resolved” with this matter, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Drivers continue to report unsafe, malfunctioning, and overheated school buses. Now that the weather is getting warmer, drivers report students are getting nose-bleeds from overheated buses. Drivers also continue to reach into their own pockets to feed and clothe children and are unable to support themselves or retire on their current wages after decades of service on the wages they currently make. Whereas other school districts in Georgia have taken steps in the right direction for their bus drivers after seeing the unrest in Dekalb County, Dekalb county officials continue to ignore the issues at hand in the face of growing discontent and have not made any effort to improve the treatment of the bus drivers or the condition of the buses.
The Dekalb County school bus drivers call on teachers, parents, students, school workers, and concerned community members to come out to the school board meeting on May 14th and support them and their struggle. Superintendent Green thinks that he can do whatever he wants because he doesn’t have to get elected. Superintendent Green and the school board have threatened drivers’ jobs for speaking up about their working conditions – the conditions Dekalb County children ride in. That’s why support from the community is so important. Drivers are calling on attendees to wear red in a show of solidarity for the cause.
– DeKalb Drivers Support Coalition