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A Chittenden County Transportation Agency shuttle.  Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/afagen/8528340792/">Adam Fagen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
A Chittenden County Transportation Agency shuttle. Photo: Adam Fagen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont bus driver union says strike to continue

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) The Burlington school superintendent says there was an increase in absenteeism and tardiness in the city schools on the first day of a bus strike in Vermont's largest county.

Superintendent Jeanne Collins says most of the increase was among students who receive free and reduced priced lunches.

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On Friday, about 54 percent of the district's absences were free and reduced lunch students. On Monday the figure was 64 percent.

She called the statistics "concerning and not a surprise."

About 70 drivers went on strike Monday after their union was unable to reach an agreement with the Chittenden County Transportation Agency, which carries about 9,500 people a day in the county, including many students.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation is urging both sides to remember passenger needs.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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