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Las Cruces school bus drivers prepare for possible strike

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Overcrowded buses, fewer busses and low wages: Those are all issues that Las Cruces school bus drivers want dealt with or they may strike.

“Its progressively gotten worse… less drivers, more open routes, the buses are more overloaded,” said Dean Abrams, president of Las Cruces Transportation Federation Local #6341. “We lost 5 drivers last week and I believe there are 2 or 3 more quitting this week.”

He said the last time drivers threatened to strike was 5 years ago, but they still are not feeling respected.

Abrams said it's also the safety of the school kids that he is concerned about.

“Even with the Covid protocols, it's supposed to be two to a seat and when we’re down 23 drivers, they take those routes and dump those 23 on the existing 103.”

He said as a result, students are being picked up earlier and dropped off later forcing parents to wait longer for their child.

Ready to take action, drivers have a meeting with the bus company - Student Transportation Specialists (STS) of New Mexico - on Thursday to discuss their issues in the hopes of getting results.

“Hopefully we can negotiate this in good faith,” said Abrams.

He said the only solution he sees is for the company to supply more busses, hire more people and manage the workload on each individual.

A spokesman for STS told ABC-7 that they are bargaining in good faith with the union and are determined to get a fair proposal.

Abrams said there is no particular timetable for when a strike could take place but their contract with STS ends Oct. 3.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Brianna Perez


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