Earlier when Indy K12 reported about the canceling of bus service for IPS, available information and union leadership appeared to suggest that there was no underlying plot or “retaliation” angle behind the call outs. Now, according to Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Aleesia Johnson, the driver shortage was a deliberate campaign of “rogue” drivers against the wishes of their union leadership.
This morning at approximately 5:30 AM, IPS began receiving calls about driver call offs which led to an unavoidable decision to cancel bus service for thousands of our students. We strongly condemn the actions of these rogue employees who choose to make this decision despite the guidance of their union leadership to not move forward with these actions.
Recently IPS decided to change transportation service. The plan will reportedly save IPS money, but some drivers were upset about needing to apply to keep their jobs.
Watch Aleesia Johnson’s full response below.
— IPS (@IPSSchools) February 28, 2020
UPDATE: The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees issued the following statement in regard to the call out.
AFSCME Council 962 was made aware this morning of the numerous driver call-off’s that led to the disruption of school transportation services today. The leaders of our affected locals assured us that there was no union endorsed effort to disrupt operations. AFSCME 962 and our local presidents stand behind their commitment to serve their communities and the children entrusted to them. These same leaders are meeting with IPS leadership this morning to address this concern and resolve remaining issues.
AFSCME understands that many employees are frustrated by recent decisions made by district leadership and some employees may be acting independently based on these feelings. We have met with affected employees several times since the process was set in motion on January 30th . Many employees were disappointed by lack of communication with their union by IPS leadership and let down by the vote of the board regarding contracting out transportation routes. However, two wrongs don’t make a right. At this point it is difficult to assess how much if any of this could be determined to be inappropriate use of earned leave time.
More will be shared as the story develops.