KHSD bus drivers protest over wages

Haven't received pay increase since 2007

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Dozens of school bus drivers from the Kern High School District picketed outside of district offices Thursday.

They were demanding better pay after being in what they call a "raise drought" for the past seven years.

The wage for classified workers within the Kern High School District hasn't changed since 2007.

Labor representatives say they have been negotiating with the district for about six months but haven't reached a deal yet.

The district has offered a three percent one-time bonus, but employees say that's not enough for them to make ends meet.

"It's hard when I can't afford just basic things to give to my daughter," said KHSD employee Sabrina Powell.

"We have tapped into our reserves about as much as we can," said KHSD representative John Teves. "The state law has a minimum amount in reserves and we're just about there, but we have a responsibility to take care of our employees too."

Teves said he is shocked by the protest because he thought negotiations had been going well. He said he is confident that a solution will be reached.

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