Marlborough School Bus Drivers On Strike Monday

Strike signs on the side of the road near the NRT Bus deport in Hudson, Mass.Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — School bus drivers in Marlborough went on strike Monday after days of intense negotiations failed to produce a contract. Schools are still open as planned, but students might have longer routes to school than usual.

Marlborough Public Schools said students who live within a mile and a half of their respective schools will be expected to walk, and most others will be dropped off by parents during the strike.

The district is also operating a small handful of school buses on its own.

Unlike a teacher strike, the contract dispute doesn't directly involve Marlborough Schools. Instead, drivers from Teamsters Local 170 are negotiating with the bus contractor NRT Bus of North Reading.

Union negotiator Cayla Dodd said the two sides had been up bargaining well past midnight on Sunday. "I thought we were getting places, we made a lot of concessions...we don't want to be on strike," Dodd said.

The drivers are asking for better wages. NRT said the drivers are already making around the top of the pay range for school bus drivers in Massachusetts.

Local 170 drivers in nearby Framingham were able to come to an agreement with NRT to avert a strike there, while Westborough drivers are still negotiating but have not yet called a strike.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) has more:

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