Lynchburg school bus drivers protest for collective bargaining agreement

Bus drivers say they’re hoping to get more consistent routes, along with better policy, benefits, and pay

The protest is part of an effort to get city leaders on board with collective bargaining for bus drivers

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Bus drivers at Lynchburg City Schools are voicing their concerns about policy and pay within the district’s transportation department.

In June, bus drivers asked the school board to consider a collective bargaining agreement resolution.

Earlier this month, the school board voted against the resolution, and on Tuesday, bus drivers and other LCS staff took to the streets to protest the school board’s decision.

“People fail to realize that school bus drivers, we don’t just drive. We are nurses when they get hurt. We talk to our children. We are parenting. We are the first faces that they see, we are the last faces that they see,” said Tammy Thompson, who has been a school bus driver for 34 years.

Another bus driver, Melissa Chesney, said she’s hoping for a chance to speak with school leaders to discuss what she said is a much-needed policy changes and negotiations.

“We are here because our department is a very high stress, very high toxicity level and we want it to change,” Chesney said.

Bus drivers and bus aides said they’re looking to get more consistent routes, along with better policy, benefits, and pay.

“These are critical things that make our department run in the most inefficient way and it ends up affecting our kids. Because our kids don’t ever know where their bus is coming, they don’t know who their bus driver is going to be. Their bus driver can be changed at any time,” said Chesney.

Bus drivers said they plan to speak at Tuesday night’s school board meeting in hopes of being heard and changing the board’s mind about potential negotiations.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.