Lewis. Co. bus drivers prepare to take action

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WESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- Lewis County bus drivers once again made their presence known at Monday's Board of Education meeting.

The board still contests the issue surrounding a policy that drivers say declares them 30-hour-per-week workers as opposed to 40. 

According to the drivers, they are six hour workers, but the board contests and pays them as if they were eight. The discrepancy is that of hours.

"We've been fighting it for many years and we have seen, and been told a lot of untruths, and we're just tired of the fighting. We just want it resolved," says driver Gerald Paugh.

Drivers also addressed their grievances with the new Service Personnel Wage and Hour Policy, which they say they were not fully briefed on.

"I'm hoping we can put that on pause for now until we can come together as a group and come to a compromise of some sort," says Paugh.

The board deadlocked in a 2-2 vote to motion to table the new policy. After a lack of a second motion, the item died, and the board is most likely back to the drawing table.

"I'd like to be able to work this out with both sides where everybody will be happy, and keep it out of the court system, but I'm afraid that's where we're headed if we don't get on this pretty quickly," says board member Mike Holden.

Pitched by driver Robert Smith armed with two pages of signatures, the drivers proposed two comprises that would satiate them.

In short, their preferred option is a 35-hour-work-week with hourly pay. The other includes contracted a.m. and p.m. runs. 

"These are the drivers that signed. We'd like to have a special meeting before March 9th to get this voted on. If not, with the signatures on this page, the bus drivers are prepared to take action," says Smith.