APS bus drivers upset over short paychecks

ATLANTA -- Some Atlanta Public Schools bus drivers were upset this week, after realizing their paychecks were, in some cases, hundreds of dollars less than they should have been.

Quentin Hutchins, a 16-year APS bus driver and union representative, said the district error has affected every driver, totaling nearly 400 people. He claims others did not receive paychecks at all.

"A lot of drivers are unable to pay their rent, mortgage, utility bills," Hutchins told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander. "They're depending on that money like everyone else."

In a district statement provided to 11Alive News, APS calls the error an "isolated incident," saying in part that the district is "aware of some discrepancies in pay for additional hours worked. Staff began working immediately to reconcile the errors...and the necessary adjustments will be made until all impacted employees are fully compensated."

Tonnia Blount has been an APS bus driver for 20 years. She said her paycheck was at least $1000 less than expected.

"I have bills to pay, and I don't have money to pay my bills," she said.

Blount and Hutchins told Alexander they and other drivers contacted the district as early as Wednesday and were promised a fix by the end of the work week.

During the summer, APS central office operates on a four day work week, with offices closed on Fridays.

"The four day week should have been thrown out of the window and they should've been there fixing the issue," Blount said.

This is the latest chapter in a rocky relationship between the school district and its bus drivers. Last September, drivers filled an APS board meeting to protest scheduling issues and so-called poor communication.

The next month, some drivers rallied at the home of then-superintendent Erroll Davis, again concerned about low wages.

Drivers plan to rally outside of the district's payroll office Monday morning at 9 a.m.


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