Instead of picking up students for school, busses in Durham County have stayed parked several times in the past few weeks due to employee sickouts.
Instead of picking up students for school, busses in Durham County have stayed parked several times in the past few weeks due to employee sickouts.
Joshua Loughren

Durham Public Schools gives Wake County new view on the importance of pay

Durham public schools have been shut down several times due to not having enough substitutes because of pay disputes with the non-certified staff. This is making a lot of callouts from bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, teachers, and the special education instructional assistants happen in the schools causing them to struggle without all the extra help.

The district told non-certified staff that they would be paid based on all the years they worked, not just in NC school systems. Then last month, they announced that an error had been made in calculating the pay raises. This has caused mistrust and distress amongst the employees of DPS. The teachers walked out in support of the other staff members. 

The school district hired a new Superintendent, former Wake County Superintendent, Catty Moore. Moore has said that she isn’t going to be staying at the district in this position. She is hoping to guide the school into pulling itself together, before it becomes more dysfunctional.  

The Durham Schools’ staff had a meeting this past Thursday. A lot of walkouts happened during this meeting causing no major progress being made for the district.  They are hoping to make improvements in small quantities to get back on track. 

“I hope this can be resolved as quickly as possible. Since the teachers being out in Durham doesn’t only affect their lives, but the student’s lives as well,” said FVHS coach and teacher Micheal Bagnasco.

All these pay cuts are causing people to not want to work at the schools until pay is fixed. Without workers and bus drivers, the students can’t learn and some can’t even get to school, causing the schools to close. 

What if this happened in Wake County? We as a school would probably have to make up the days we missed. Since the school is required to have a specific amount of days in a school year, this is one of the main topics being discussed in Durham recently. 

Durham will hopefully solve their issues sooner rather than later, so students won’t have to give up some of their summer for a few extra breaks in the school year. 

DPS is working to correct the error in pay. Since so many were affected, it’s going to take a while for it to be fixed. If the teachers and other workers didn’t take a stand, then they wouldn’t have improved the situation, and it wouldn’t have been communicated just how important they are to the school.

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