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Chances of school bus strike 'strong', says union president

Last-ditch efforts to stop a school bus driver strike will be taking place this weekend.

Last-ditch efforts to stop a school bus driver strike will be taking place this weekend.

Drivers were fired up on Wednesday night as they staged an information picket in front of the Halifax Regional School Board office in Dartmouth.

“It’s to let the school board know we are serious and that we will be going on strike as of Tuesday morning unless our employer comes back to the table with a fair offer,” said bus driver Pat Briggs.

She’s driven a special needs bus for 29 years and she makes $12.49 an hour for five hours a day.

“I made more than that in 2001 and I had a pension at that time, now I don’t have a pension,” Briggs said.

The 300 drivers, monitors and mechanics are “ready to go” on strike, she said. They will be in a strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday.

If there is a strike, it will mean 23,000 kids in the Halifax Regional School Board will have to find their own way to school.

“We certainly have a message for the kids and the parents that we’re very sorry that we have to do this.

“None of us wanted to come down to a strike but we believe we deserve a fair wage for the job that we do.”

Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, said there will be another meeting, and another offer from Stock Transportation on Saturday.

“Chances (of a strike) are still strong,” she said. “We’re not going to bring back a peanut offer. They have to be very serious about what they’re going to table on us.”


 
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