Maury County Public Schools avoids bus delay after driver payment dispute

School Bus
(Photo: WKRN)

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Some bus drivers in Maury County had planned to block a gate and prevent buses from rolling out Tuesday afternoon if the school district didn’t pay them for all the extra time they claim to have worked.

Just before buses were set to roll out Tuesday, Maury County Public Schools provided the drivers with checks making up the pay difference for those who worked extra duties like field trips, sporting events and taking students home from tutoring.

Several of the district’s 160 bus drivers told News 2 that when they received their pay checks this week, many only got paid for time on their regular bus routes.

Maury County bus drivers are preparing to take action after they claim they have not been paid correctly. (Photo: WKRN)
Maury County bus drivers were prepared to take action after they claimed they were not paid correctly. (Photo: WKRN)

“Our pay is not right,” bus driver Angela Mosley told News 2. “We had 42 drivers that did not get their overtime pay for this pay period. Ever since the beginning of this school year we have not had an accurate check yet.”

One driver was paid double and they said this isn’t the first time this has happened.

“I don’t know why they doubled it. I haven’t been having any problems with my check until now,” bus driver Linda Wood said.

Some drivers News 2 spoke with said they were concerned about paying their bills and mortgages on time.

“My daughter is a single parent, and she has two small children and she was banking on that money today,” explained Angela Mosley.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

A Maury County Public Schools spokesperson Kim Doddridge said district employees were surveyed and the majority agreed they wanted to move to a 12-month pay system, so they would receive a check during the summer months when school was out.

Driver Nick Mosto said, “It’s just an ongoing problem and it’s ever since they went to this new system. And they need to get it straighten out.”

News 2 asked if this was a software issue or human error.

“Our transition from our previous payroll system to the one we are working with now did not go as smoothly as we had hoped or anticipated,” Doddridge said. “Dr. Alice Burkins, the finance director for Maury County Public Schools, reports specifically for bus drivers that we transitioned from paying them 10 months to paying them 12 months and the calculations did not transfer as expected. This was not attributed to one issue or the other but something our finance department worked to correct.”

Doddridge said this is not a district-wide issue.

“We did experience an issue with substitute teacher pay; their first paycheck was September 9 and there were fewer than 10 errors reported,” Doddridge said. “Their next paycheck was October 6 and there were five errors reported. These inaccuracies were corrected the same day they were reported.”

The district is currently transitioning back to the 10-month pay scale, she said.

When it was all said and done Tuesday, the district wrote checks making up the pay difference.

Mosely said if the issue occurs again the bus drivers will stand their ground again.

“Those buses will not roll. We’ll be right back where we are today,” Mosely said. “We are tired of our money being messed up every pay period. If we do our jobs, get our money right.”

Maury County employees 160 bus drivers and has 10 substitute drivers.