LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – Bus drivers in Livingston parish are speaking out against the school district. They say a lack of drivers and a lack of pay – must be addressed now.

A total of 21 bus drivers did not show up for their shifts last week as a way of demanding change. They say they’re tired of the lack of drivers, and long bus rides.

There is a national shortage of bus drivers, and it’s affecting Livingston parish. They currently have a number of routes uncounted for.

This means bus drivers are picking up additional students and routes.

But according to Superintendent Joe Murphy, the drivers are being compensated for the extra work.

Murphy says, “The school board actually voted to pay $10 for every run that they would have to pick up.”

Drivers feel $10 for ever run is not enough. They are currently paid $19hour for five hours a day, to cover four routes.

But that number has doubled for some, and with more bus drivers not showing up, a number of students don’t have a ride home.

Murphy says, “The schools had to contact parents. Some bus drivers contacted parents and informed the parents that they weren’t going to run. So those parents had to leave their occupations, leave what they were doing, and they had to get them home from our schools.”

BRProud reporter Jessica Knox has reached out to Livingston Parish Public School transportation and their bus drivers to hear their side of the story, but both refused to comment.

Superintendent Murphey says he understands everyone’s frustration and he’s created a new board in hopes of meeting on common ground.

He described the Educational Facilities District Improvement Board by saying, “That board is going to be charged with looking with the possibility of providing a sustainable revenue source to increase the salaries of not only our bus drivers, but for every employee in our district.”

At this time, most bus drivers have returned to work.

The new board will have its first meeting November 17.

If you would like to become a bus driver for Livingston Parish Public Schools, click here.