HISD bus drivers upset over pay dispute

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- HISD bus drivers are upset because they say the school district has shortchanged them on their pay.

A third grievance meeting was scheduled Thursday between drivers and the district, after drivers complained they didn't get paid for several school days.

Back in January 2014, school was shut down due to icy weather. Drivers say, while other employees were paid, they say they were not. That's why they filed the grievance.

But when they realized the meeting was scheduled at a time they normally are driving buses, they tried to have it changed, but it was not. So, some had to miss their routes in order to attend the meeting.

They say they are upset to leave any child waiting for a ride, but they also don't want to be taken for a ride by the district.

Alan Tyser has been driving school buses for years. He said, "In the past we have been paid. When we had (Hurricane) Ike, we were paid for a week. We just want the district to do the right thing."

Drivers also say this was never a walk out or a strike by the drivers. This was their right to fight to get paid.

Meanwhile, back-up drivers were called in to help handle the routes of the drivers.

HISD issued the following statement: "In an effort to accommodate a group of bus drivers who have filed a pay grievance against the district, HISD scheduled a hearing on the grievance for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday so that the drivers would have time to complete their morning routes. Late Wednesday night, more than 100 drivers notified the district that they did not intend to report for duty on Thursday morning because of the hearing. District officials then decided Wednesday night to postpone Thursday's hearing to avoid disruptions to students' pickup schedules. The district then made late-night phone calls to drivers who had said they would not report for duty to notify them that the grievance hearing was being rescheduled. On Thursday morning, 40 HISD bus routes were unstaffed, and 12 of the district's 1,000-plus bus routes arrived at school more than 15 minutes late, which is slightly more than normal. HISD respects the rights of all employees and has created a grievance process that is intended to ensure that the important work of educating children continues uninterrupted."
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