JOLIET – Schools that utilize First Student buses may find themselves without transportation beginning Tuesday as bus drivers consider going on strike.
Any work stoppage would affect school districts nationwide that utilize the contracted services beginning Tuesday, September 20th, unless a deal is reached.
Area schools began warning parents as early as Saturday afternoon on social media of the possible strike. Parents may find themselves transporting their own children beginning Monday.
In a letter emailed to all parents Sunday, Joliet Public School Districts 86 Superintendent Theresa Rouse warned parents to prepared.
“Please be prepared to transport your children to/from school this week in case buses are not available. We encourage families to consider carpooling if necessary.” Dr. Rouse said in the letter. “At this point, we do not know if buses will be available tomorrow. The situation is everchanging.”
Negotiations with drivers do not fall on school districts that utilize First Student services. Superintendents across the area apologized for the inconvenience to parents in their communities.
“I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this situation causes. None of us are happy to be dealing with this, especially after getting off to our most “normal” start to a school year since 2019.” said Will County School District 92 Superintendent Tim Arnold Saturday afternoon. “No matter what happens, please know that we will do everything we can to support our students and families to get through the situation.”
First Student has been transporting students across America for more than 100 years. The company operates in 39 States and 8 Canadian provinces transporting students over 550 million miles each year.
No word on exactly how many districts, schools or students locally could be affected by a potential strike.