Lakota Local School District bus drivers on strike after voting no to offer

The bus driver's union voted no to negotiations made by Petermann.
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 7:56 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2023 at 8:40 AM EDT
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LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - Lakota Local School District bus drivers are on strike after voting no to an offer from the district’s contracted transportation provider, Petermann.

With bus drivers now on strike, parents in the district will have to find other means of transportation to get their kids to and from school starting Friday.

“The bus drivers have chosen to reject the proposed contract and strike, which means bus transportation will be unavailable to our families, effective Friday, Sept. 1,” the district said in a statement after Thursday’s vote.

Teamsters Local 100 union President Bill Davis said the contract between Petermann and the bus drivers’ union expired on June 30.

Davis said the union wants more pay to offset inflation, but the latest negotiations focused on technology and discipline as bus drivers are increasingly videotaped.

Davis said the union wants a level playing field for employees to do their jobs without having to look over their shoulders every day.

“They want these bus drivers and monitors to be under scrutiny every second of their workday,” Davis said. “And we just feel that that’s not acceptable.

He said it was a hard decision for the drivers to make.

“Every one of my drivers and monitors back here cared deeply about the kids that they transport on a daily basis,” Davis explained. “Again, we’re not asking for anything unreasonable. We didn’t move the goalposts, the company did.”

Many Edwards, a Lakota Local School District parent, says she plans to drive a carpool to help other parents.

“I think there are some other parents that are willing to help,” Edwards said. “We would just have to figure out which kids are going where at what time and maybe group them together.”

According to the district’s website, students will not be marked tardy or absent if they are unable to find transportation to school during the bus driver strike.

The strike will impact more than just students getting to and from school. It will also impact after-school sports.

Lakota East High School plays an away game this Friday. The school’s athletic department says they need four buses to take the team to the game.

The athletic department said Tuesday they are exploring different options, such as players driving themselves to away games.

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