School employees protest outside BISD office

Protesters gathered outside the Brownsville ISD Administration Building Tuesday.

Employees of the district are upset over their hours getting slashed.

About 100 of them didn't show up to work at all Tuesday.

All they want is to protect their livelihood.

12 year BISD bus driver Sergio Guerrero spoke on behalf of his colleagues over a cutback in hours which he says just won't cut it.

"As you can see nobody is being aggressive or violent," Guerrero said during the protest.

About 200 drivers and bus monitors met Tuesday, protesting what they say was a notice from the district alerting employees their work week was downgraded from 40 hours or more, to 32 hours.

"When we get back to work they were telling us to punch in at later time and they want you to be hurrying during the route and punch out as early as you can to cut your hours down," said Guerrero.

Protesters were told by the district they could address their concerns individually but declined.

"It's the whole department. We're all one," said Guerrero.

We took up the matter with a transportation supervisor.

"(Reporter): Can you explain what's going on out here? Can you hear me?

(J. Rodriguez): No, I got a hearing aid.

(Reporter): You can't hear me now? You could hear me a couple minutes ago."

A spokesperson for BISD also declined an on-camera interview and instead sent Action 4 News a statement reading in part "bus drivers are assured of 32 hours of employment each week including benefits such as free health coverage and paid days for vacation, illness and holidays.

There are also opportunities to earn additional and overtime pay for student trips when necessary."

"We can't support our family. Gas is very expensive and everything is expensive. 32 hours is not going to help us. It's going to ruin us," said Guerrero.

He said it will impact students too, possibly arriving late to school.

The driver we spoke to also points out this all came to light while students were under pressure during STAAR tests.

This is not the first time BISD bus drivers have protested.

In September of 2011, they complained about having to work longer hours at the same pay rate.

Employees plan to return to work Wednesday.