Durham School Services and Teamster Union try to reach deal - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bus driver contract negotiations continue in South Carolina

Durham CEO John Elliot Durham CEO John Elliot
CHARLESTON, SC (WTOC) -

Durham School Services and the Teamsters Union have been trying to reach a contract deal since July.

Durham said they're hoping a deal can be reached soon, but they're fully prepared for a strike if one happens.

"We have trainers on the ground right now ready to train replacement drivers," Durham CEO John Elliot said. "The individuals that we're bringing in from out of state began arriving on Monday and they will continue to arrive, and they will be available throughout the week."

Elliot said the company offered Charleston drivers the same 45 cent pay increase that the Beaufort County drivers were offered. Charleston drivers are asking for a $1 increase.

The drivers also want a clause allowing a sympathy strikes in support of unions in other areas. Durham is against that clause.

Durham has only received a list of demands from Charleston and Beaufort drivers. They're still waiting for a list from Dorchester.

Elliot said the company has come close to drivers striking before, but there's never officially been a strike.

As long as drivers keep coming to the negotiating table, Elliot is confident that a strike will be avoided this time.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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