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Davenport school bus drivers threaten to strike

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Local bus drivers are threatening to strike pending a contract negotiation with Durham School Services, the transportation provider for the Davenport Community School District. 

Teamsters Local 371, the union overseeing area school bus drivers, voted down the current contract offer last Saturday.

According to Edward Flavin, a Durham communications representative, Teamsters 371 rejected the Union and Company Negotiation Committee’s joint tentative labor contract agreement.

"The parties will resume negotiations this Friday with a federal mediator and work to resolve their outstanding issues," Flavin said in an email. 

Teamsters 371 will vote on a contract offer around 5:30 p.m. Friday night, which will determine whether drivers will strike. 

Details regarding the duration of the strike are yet to be confirmed.  

The Davenport Community School District sent out a message to district parents through its auto dialer, stating: 

"Davenport Community School District is committed to our students’ safety, quality of education, and accessibility to schools. As such, we are closely monitoring the negotiations between the district’s school bus provider and the drivers’ union. This is a situation over which DCSD has no direct control. In our sincere concern for the best interests of our students, we are hoping for a quick and amicable resolution to the negotiations.

"However, we are exploring possible contingency plans if a resolution is not reached. We also encourage you to have a plan in place Starting Monday October 3rd to provide your own transportation to schools until a resolution is reached. We will remain in communication with our district about the situation as it develops. Please continue to monitor our website and social media for timely updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

The district hasn't yet identified accommodations for students and families without their own mode of transportation.

Communications representative Mike Vondran said the district will continue to explore options, and noted that the district will post all updates on the website and communicated via auto dialer and social media. 

This story is developing. 

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