Paul Davis, deputy principal of Westlake Girls High School, got a shock when he read the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday.
Davis had to find out from a news article that NZBus will be in a pay negotiation on Friday from 11am to 4.30pm.
NZBus usually has a 14-day notice policy for all strikes.
Westlake Girls High School is on Taharoto Rd right next to Smales Farm Station on the North Shore, this makes bussing a popular choice for most students.
Davis says he was quick to send an email to every form teacher and informed students at an assembly of the bus strike.
“We are concerned about the extra traffic around the school,” he says.
“I will encourage students to walk or bike.”
Davis was especially concerned for students who bus to school from as far away as Whangaparaoa.
“I will not be surprised if they don’t come to school if their parents can’t drop them,” he says.
Some of these students will be in the middle of preparating for exams.
NZBus was disappointed that Tramways and First Union had chosen this time to hold the non-work meeting and had requested a schedule change to an earlier and less disruptive time.
This is the first time strikes have affected the school run.
Fortunately NZBus have been able to find non-union drivers to carry out the schools route.
NZBus are offering a 6.6 per cent increase in pay over four years.
Year 11 associate principal Alex Hartley is the school’s bus coordinator. He says that making sure all the students were aware of the potential change to routine was the main priority for the school.
NZBus declined to comment despite repeated attempts made by Te Waha Nui.