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School bus driver strike ends as tentative contract agreement is reached

Over 60 school bus drivers in Delaware end their strike after one day.

The Teamsters union representing drivers from First Student – the company employing the bus drivers – has tentatively agreed to a contract with the First Student bus company. They voted down a contract earlier this week prompting the strike.

The work stoppage Thursday affected the Appoquinimink, Christina, and New Castle County Vo-Tech school districts - as well as four charter schools: Odyssey, East Side Charter, Charter School of New Castle, and Newark Charter.

In Christina, Public Information Officer Alva Mobley says the district adjusted on Thursday.

"We had our drivers doubling up when possible. I will share with you that only four of our schools were affected by the strike. So we did experience some delays, but no extreme delays. We had additional staff brought into our transportation site to handle phone calls and to support parents with any questions they had."

Mobley says any delays the district faced was handled well.

"We didn't experience any extreme challenges this morning. It was business as usual. Any calls they got regarding delays were handled immediately. It seemed to be pretty seamless for us."

Appoquinimink also had other buses pick up the routes affected.

Delcastle and Hodgson in the New Castle Vo-Tech School District held a remote learning day Thursday.

All districts and schools anticipate normal operations Friday.

A joint letter from the state Senate Democratic Caucus leaders supported the bus drivers, saying they have been negotiating for months to gain better pensions and healthcare and avoid a strike.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.