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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bus driver strike shuts NH schools today

School has been canceled today in New Milford, NH as bus drivers go on strike. Workers for All-Star Transportation voted last month in favor of a strike. About a dozen are walking the picket line this morning.

"While this matter is between a private company and its employees, the school district is clearly impacted by the situation," Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote said in a message to parents posted on the district's web site. "In order to give you and school administrators time to plan for this inconvenience, school will be canceled on the first day of the strike. It is the district's intent to resume holding school on the second day of the strike."

The 80 drivers are seeking higher wages and better healthcare packages. Drivers earn between $11 and $14 an hour, but say it takes up to ten years to reach the top of the pay scale.

About 5,000 children attend the high school, middle school, and four elementary schools in New Milford.

In her note Paddyfote recommended that parents make arrangements for transportation for their kids, including carpooling to "ease congestion" in school driveways.