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Cafeteria workers stage sickout in N. Carolina school system

November 17, 2021 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The largest school system in North Carolina said none of its students went hungry on Tuesday despite a sickout by school cafeteria workers demanding better pay and improved working conditions.

Leaders at the Wake County Public School System warned parents that another sickout could impact food services at other schools on Wednesday, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.

Late Monday evening, the Wake County school system alerted families at 32 schools that they should bring their own lunch on Tuesday because the system couldn’t guarantee meal service. But a tweet sent in the morning indicated that the school district was able to provide meals to every student who wanted one.

The school district provided bagged lunches to students, according to Lisa Luten, a school spokeswoman. Luten also said that parents and local businesses and restaurants also brought in food for students on Tuesday.

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WCPSS warned Tuesday night that 15 schools could be affected by staffing shortages on Wednesday.

The sickout comes as a 19% vacancy rate is forcing the cafeteria workers to do more work than before. Two weeks ago, dozens of WCPSS school bus drivers called out sick for a three-day protest that disrupted bus service for many students.