Hundreds of school bus drivers didn't show up to work today in Miami-Dade, leaving some students stranded at their bus stops. About one sixth of drivers decided to skip their duties today in a protest over pay and benefits.
According to the Miami Herald, 242 of the district's roughly 1,300 bus drivers were no-shows today, which caused problems at about 80 schools. Schools covered by the central, west and southwest transportation centers were the hardest hit.
More drivers are threatening a "sick out" on Monday which could affect even more children.
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Several students were left stranded at their bus stops. Some called their parents after their bus hadn't shown up, and some parents were told they may have to pick up their children from school this afternoon.
Apparently drivers are angry that their paychecks have less money in them than usual thanks to higher insurance rates that kicked in this year. Negotiations over an increase in benefits and lowering the rates broke down on January 1. The union, however, did not organize the protest and encouraged drivers who did show up to work to pick up extra routes.
The number of students affected wasn't immediately clear. Parents of students at Ponce de Leon Middle School, for example, told the Herald that perhaps as many as half the school's students were late today.