Afterschool pickup plans changed after Durham School Services employees strike

Many Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District parents had to change pickup plans on short notice
After bus drivers in the Mat-Su Borough School District went on strike, parents voice their opinions while picking up their children from school.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:30 PM AKST
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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - Parents had to come in to pick up their children from school on Tuesday after the bus drivers in the Mat-Su Borough School District went on strike.

Many of the parents had to take time off of work to come in to pick up their children.

“My son is in preschool. So I have to drop the girls off in the morning,” parent Taelyr Aga said. “And then he comes back to school at one o’clock. And then I have to now pick all of them up at 3:45. So I get to come here three times a day instead of two.”

But even those who pick up their children regularly can empathize with those who had to today.

“I’m really grateful that my work allows me to have a flexible schedule to pick my kids up,” parent Michelle Lacey said. “Because it would be really hard to have to come here, leave work, pick your kids up and not be able to do that.”

While the strike proved to be an inconvenience for many parents, several were still sympathetic to the drivers.

“It’s definitely not the bus drivers’ fault. They’ve been treated unfairly. And until they can be treated fairly, I think they’ll do what they need to do,” Aga said.

However, this was not the case for all parents.

“Union strikes are ridiculous. You know, fire them all and hire new people,” parent Jonathan Carter said.

Some of the parents in the school district have already stopped having their children take the bus before the strike even occurred.

“That drama that had happened at the beginning of the year, students being left off the school bus — not at their homes. So that raised a lot of really red flags to me. And I decided my kids weren’t going to ride the school bus,” parent Jennifer Szymanowski said.

The Mat-Su Borough School District announced that school will continue in person on Feb. 1, but that there will be no bus service to bring children to school campuses. Children who cannot make it to class will be given opportunities for make-up work, which the district recommends parents call their children’s school to get specifics for.