Valdosta City Schools’ Bus drivers talk pay increase

Valdosta City Schools Bus drive talk pay increase

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - We’re hearing from the bus drivers from Valdosta City Schools (VCS) about the $3,000 raise per person, per year that they say will help feed their families.

“This raise is going to really, really help me," said VCS bus driver, Carolyn Berrian.

Berrian and her co-workers said this raise was long overdue.

“Some of us, we have been working tirelessly. We haven’t even taken days off. I know me, myself. I haven’t had a vacation at all," said Geraldine Fairell.

The drivers said they have hopes of finally taking a vacation.

Berrian said she’s loved being a driver for the system for the past 23 years, but said at some point they hit a bump in the road.

“It changed last year. It was like I had to pray to God every morning to get up and like ‘Lord, just help me through the day," said Berrian.

Thanks to the changes in leadership, the group said things have improved tremendously.

The pay was the final step in those improvements.

“I’m glad. You know, it’s like a weight lifted off us as well because we were underpaid," said Fairell.

Now they have the pay, respect, and unified attitude that they had been seeking.

Now, Sheila Johnson said it’s hard to get rid them after their work is done.

“We get off our bus and we still be there, versus we can go home, do whatever needs to do, but we just be there socializing," said Johnson.

All in all, the group said they have no complaints and they’re thankful to the leadership for listening.

The drivers said the pay raise is expected to go into effect before the start of the next school year.

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