DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Several DeKalb County school bus drivers have been fired after calling out of work on Thursday as part of a planned three-day 'sick out.'
Some 400 drivers are seeking more pay, better retirement benefits and better treatment.
Channel 2 Action News has obtained a letter sent to at least 7 district drivers saying they've been fired over the 'sick-out'
The letter said, "it is unlawful for you to encourage, promote, or participate in strike activity," and is signed by DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green.
The district sent out a statement late Thursday evening saying, in part:
"The district delivered letters to the seven employees this afternoon terminating their employment with DCSD. While the district does not discuss specific personnel matters, the employees were among a group found to actively support or encourage bus drivers not to report to work."
“We have been clear from the beginning. We will keep an open dialogue with employees provided they work collaboratively and keep our children safe by reporting to work. Unfortunately, some employees chose another route, and that carries serious consequences,” Green said in a news release Thursday night.
DeKalb County Schools officials say about 42 percent of their drivers did not show up for work Thursday.
Channel 2's Lori Wilson was outside Tucker High School during dismissal time Thursday afternoon when no buses showed up to take students home.
Parent Barry Murphy said he was prepared for the school bus to not show up.
“DeKalb called and left a voicemail and said that there was a bus issue and there might be a delay in the morning,” Murphy told Wilson. “We were ready.”
Cox Media Group