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Some Toronto schools impacted if school bus drivers strike

Last Updated Nov 27, 2017 at 8:28 am EDT

A First Student Canada school bus in Toronto. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy

Close to 30 schools in Toronto will be affected if school bus drivers in Durham Region go on strike Thursday.

A strike notice was issued on Friday by Unifor Local 4268, the union representing the drivers who work for First Student Canada.

The bus service covers 10,000 students at the Durham District School Board, the Durham Catholic District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and the Toronto District School Board – servicing Ajax, Brock, Oshawa, Pickering, Scarborough, Scugog, Uxbridge, and Whitby.

Decent wages are at the core of the negotiations.

“Drivers assume responsibility for the safety of children while also navigating school buses through our communities, yet they remain at the bottom of the professional driver pay scale,” Debbie Montgomery, president of Unifor Local 4268, said in a release.

“School bus drivers deserve decent wages and working conditions and we’re not willing to settle for less from First Student.”

Unifor will continue to negotiate with First Student until the strike deadline at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.

Should the drivers strike, 19 schools at the Toronto Catholic District School Board and nine at the Toronto District School Board would be affected.

Several schools in the Durham public and Catholic school boards will also be impacted by the potential bus strike.