Buses parked at Durham School Services' bus barn Friday. (WISH Photo/Chopper 8)
Updated: Friday, 17 Aug 2012, 3:36 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 17 Aug 2012, 2:28 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Between 12,000 and 13,000 Indianapolis Public School students could be two hours late getting home Friday.
IPS officials said 80 school bus drivers called in sick. The drivers, technically employed by Durham School Services, demonstrated in an Indianapolis park Friday afternoon.
Drivers told 24-Hour News 8 there would not be a strike, but that they were frustrated. They have ongoing issues with unemployment payment during school breaks and late paychecks, drivers said.
IPS said the students affected make up about half the students who take the school bus. IPS said parents are welcome to pick up their children, but they aren't required to do so.
John Althardt, IPS spokesman, said the district is extremely disappointed with Durham.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Durham expressed disappointment in the acts of bus drivers.
"It is unfortunate some bus drivers are not showing up for work and putting their interests ahead of the well-behind of the students," Durham's statement said, in part.
The company blamed the state for employee frustrations related to unemployment.
"Durham has no control over determinations made by the state," the statement said. "We support our employees in obtaining unemployment benefits."
Drivers told 24-Hour News 8 they typically receive unemployment when school isn't in session. But at the beginning of this school year, they said the Department of Workforce Development notified them that drivers needed to pay the money back.
Check back with WISHTV.com for updates.
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