- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - School bus drivers in Wake County are staying off the job in a dispute over pay that stems from having their hours reduced.

Local media outlets report Wake County Public School System officials posted a statement on social media as well as their website to warn parents to expect delays of up to two hours in getting students home from school on Friday.

The officials said delays should be expected for students at more than 50 schools. The schools were listed on the website.

At issue is the system’s decision to change bus routes, which has left drivers working fewer hours. Several drivers have said they’re tired of living from paycheck to paycheck, adding that they feel district administrators haven’t kept promises to increase their pay.

Spencer Jenkins, who has been driving a school bus for more than 20 years and works full-time for Wake County Schools, said he lost money when his hours were cut.

“Last year, I was making eight hours. This year, I can barely make six,” Jenkins said. “I’m actually getting less this year than I was last year.”

The school board recently approved a 3 percent raise for support staff, including bus drivers, but with fewer hours,

Over the past two years WCPSS has eliminated hundreds of bus routes and thousands of stops in an effort to reorganize its transportation department. This year, 70 fewer buses are operating on Wake County roads.

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