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The Call Blog: City Hall Rejects Offer From Bus Drivers Union

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Whatever side you may be on, one thing everyone can agree on is that parents can't afford to continue the status quo until June. With that in mind, I hope all sides come back to the table to bargain in good faith because the situation is hurting children and parents, who pay be seeing less on their paychecks as well as they struggle to get their kids to school.



Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 asked Mayor Bloomberg to delay the bidding process for new school bus contracts so there could be more time to negotiate. Drivers and matrons would have gone back to work during the three-month "cooling off period," but City Hall rejected the offer.

A spokeswoman at City Hall said postponing the bids "would guarantee that the same billion-dollar contracts we have now stay in place next year." She added the union is "irresponsibly holding our students and city hostage." The cost of busing students has risen from $100 million in 1979 to $1.1 billion today. Drivers want any new contracts to include job protections for current drivers.

Was City Hall right to reject the offer from the ATU to end the strike? Do you support Mayor Bloomberg's effort to cut spending on public school buses? How is the strike affecting you or your family?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



It doesn't matter what happens or what anyone suggests because it will be whatever Bloomberg wants. Again he gave with one hand and took back with the other and we go through this every year with this mayor proposing all types of cuts and then it's like he enjoys torturing us. Then we play the Quinn game and they come up with the same solution to every matter that arises each year.

That's how it is between the rich and poor. The rich never ever let us forget that we are the poor ones. That hurts.

My thing is that I don't expect them to give in to the demands just for the asking.
But this is becoming ridiculous.

BOTH HE AND THIS QUINN NEEDS TO GO OUT HAND AND TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN PLAYING WITH OUR FEELINGS FOR TO LONG A TIME NOW= AND ONCE AGAIN=HOW'S THIS THIRD TERM GOING?.

We are getting it even from Albany.

They should remember that they can just antagonize people for so much and then people start to react.

Maxxiee
Morris Park



It seems to me that if a child exhibited the behavior that Bloomberg is exhibiting, no one would hesitate to call the child a spoiled brat. Well, I guess then we can conclude that Bloomberg is a spoiled brat.

First it was the teacher evaluations. By all accounts an agreement was reached that was better than most of the ones in the rest of the state. Everyone was ready to call it a deal, until the Spoiled Brat found out he couldn't destroy people's lives wholesale. So he trashed it and the city suffered.

Next it was the bus companies. Hiding behind the guise of "savings" (the same mayor who has wasted millions upon millions with failed projecs and secret no bid contracts) the Spoiled Brat decides that bus drivers and matrons make too much money. They strike to protect their jobs, which I might point out they were doing perfectly well, and the city suffers. Then they agree to stop the strike and continue negotiations. Again, the Spoiled Brat fears that he won't be around long enough to punish them so he flat out refuses to do the one thing that would solve the problem.

Just exactly how much incompetence is a rich mayor allowed to get away with before someone disciplines him? If the eyes of the world are upon us, this is an amazingly embarassing situation to have a civil servant (yes, Bloomberg forgets that whether he collects a salary or not, he is a civil servant) parade around as if he is a dictator.

Disgusted by Bloomberg



First of all you and soldiers should run in traffic you need to do something with yourself instead of hurting the people who are working for a god damn living and stop messing with the kids future they need to learn but you are hurting them so much the people from 1181 are very professionals people the people you are renting that did 4 hours class is a joke just like you I think you should look deep in the mirror oh no you can't you lie so much to the NYC people we the NYC can't wait till you and you soldiers get out of office all you are doing is saving to put in your mattress but it's a joke your spending more of our tax money by giving metro cards and car services out why don't you use you money like us people do in NYC you spend a dime you get everything free like you all did years us nyc people are tired of you and your people remember we work for a god damn living and pay our dues are you going our bills no why should you you should go back to your your country and take your soldiers with you remember your hurting our kids

Vinny
Staten Island



You either have to be very pour and you get welfare like the immigrants where the husband and wife's get welfare or you have to be rich like you you are hurting the middle class people 1181workers are very qualify and your making it so hard to make ends meet we are doing our jobs the rite way we are reliable people and very well trained people we deserved our salary shame on you and you are hurting the kids more shame on you

Judy
Staten Island


who dares to question anything that he believes; he is afterall the epidemy of our capitalistic system and therefore he is Zeus/Ashem.

eleven more months and its over.

JS
Flushing



City Hall was right in not delaying the biding process. The city does not have a contract with the union and therefore is under no obligation to them. The company that gets the contract should negotiate a fair and equitable contract with it's employees and ensure the union abides by it. The unions should not be in any way shape or form holding our children's education hostage. The private companies employees are not civil servants, there job security comes from the company they worked for and were aware of this when they took the job.

Oscar
Park Hill



Impact: I have a special needs student and due to the bus strike, I have to take him to school every day. This gets me into work 30 minutes later than usual. I also have to hire a caretaker to take my child home from school. This costs me $, and is not an insignificant amount.

Was City Hall Right to Reject the Union's Offer to End the Strike: Yes. I don't think the offer to end the strike by the union was fair. It would lock the city, one of the customers in this deal (the parents being the other customer) into the same expensive and unmanageable contract. So, disingenuously, the union offered to end the strike on its own terms (!). On terms unmanageable to the city. The customer should not be told who to shop from and how, and at what price.

Support the Mayor in Cutting Spending: Yes, judiciously. If excess dollars are spent on inefficient routes, then it should be reviewed, and alternatives should be considered. Fair competition helps ensure that the best product or service is used. Drivers and matrons who excel at their jobs should be given deference to work for the new bus company, if there are open positions. Current qualified employees in any new contracted bus company should not be fired due to job guarantees by other bus drivers/matrons. One person's guarantee is another person's job loss or lack of job opportunity. While I understand that the union wants job guarantees for tenured drivers and matrons, unfortunately, with employment, comes risk. I was laid off; I know. Drivers and matrons made a choice to join an industry and take that job. With that choice comes responsibilities. Job guarantees are unrealistic, and certainly should not be forced upon the customer when pricing a new vendor. The city/customer chooses the company/vendor and negotiates a price. The rest is up to the vendor, not the customer. It is awful to lose one's job, but it's not cool to quit working as a demand to keep a job. That behavior does not earn trust, and certainly does not merit a job. When I read a quote in a related NY1 article from a driver that said: "We were really disappointed to see some buses rolling" (when replacement drivers started on some routes this week), I was really "disappointed" (an understatement). The higher priority is servicing the children and parents who need the transportation, not solidarity with the union. The children come first. Otherwise, find another job.

Steve



The mayor have to do some thing,every one said it's not me it's his they blame each other like a baby. they don't care about the kids. If they didn't know how to do their work just leave it to some one who can do it.



MILTON MOLLEN WEIGHED IN ON THIS VERY SAME SCENARIO A FEW DECADES AGO.
AN AGREEMENT OF SORTS WAS HAMMERED OUT AND THE BUS STRIKE WAS OVER.
BOTH SIDES CAME UP WITH A SOLUTION THAT WORKED ALL THE WAY BACK THEN TO PRESENT DAY.

WHEN THE 2 SIDES CAME TOGETHER IN AGREEMENT, A FEW THINGS HAPPENED.
BY ALLOWING AND CONDONING THAT AGREEMENT REACHED DECADES AGO, ANY AND ALL AGREEMENTS BACK THEN BECAME CONVERTED INTO AN UNDERSTANDING THAT RESULTED IN THE LAW OF CONDONATION.

TOO MANY YEARS HAVE PASSED TO INTELLIGENTLY HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW THE CITY DOES BIDDING.

THAT DOG WON'T HUNT ANYMORE.

JOE
BAY TERRACE



Do two things. Get government out of education. Get unions out of government.

Joe
Port Richmond



The mayor is against collective bargains. And is advocate for his rich friends in the real estate business. these are experienced service workers, Are you going to trust your child with inexperience driver. Does the mayor care about children or his corporate goals. The middle class is effective member of our economy. Mayoral control is failing at the Doe; bring back the board who cared about children social needs and cognitive goals. The mayor is out of touch with the needs of people , and most of all the safety of our children. Their no price for safe and secure buses. And our dedicated drivers who we trust. Mayor bloomberg make a compromise with the union, families are suffering.

Zhou



These workers represent the working people of NYC. They deserve more support from all of us, they are standing up against a Major that changes laws and policies on his whim. All parents, students, teachers and anyone else who is affected should gather together to show Major Bloomberg just how many people are truly affected by his backwards Robin Hood ways (taking from the poor to give to the rich)

Yadira, wife of a bus driver
Bronx



I agree the mayor is holding the school kids hostage they cant get to school to learn anytthing the mayor is living in a townehouse he have grown daughters they can ride the buses and trains they arent handicapped and in wheelchairs i cant wait till bollomberg leave office VOTE FOR CHRISTIN


Herman
UPPER WEST SIDE



Mayor Bloomberg is a bully and he doesn't want people to live in this city if they are not Millionaires. Which is a shame he should allow these people to protect their lively hood.......He doesn't bargain in GOOD FAITH ask the city workers of New York that is the backbone of New York City!

What a Clown! I cannot wait until he is out of office, what a disgrace!

David



Why is the union demanding job security from NYC. Shouldn't they be seeking this from their employers - the bus companies?



Bloomberg has gone too far now. In order for me to make it to work on time I have my elderly grandparents taking my autistic son to and from school everyday and when they can't take him my son has to stay home. He doesn't care about NYC or our special needs kids. He's disgusting!

Jessica
East Elmhurst.



No I do not agree with Mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg is against all unionized jobs in New York City. He believes in controlling the hiring and firing in unionized jobs. He never liked the idea of a union worker "having a job for life". His pain purpose from day one was to "destroy and break " the Unions. Once again we have Mayor Bloomberg, sticking it to the working class people.

Theresa
Upper West Side



The union and ( the bus companies themselves) are holding school children and parents hostage. City Hall needs to let the bid process through. The unions need to negotiate with the companies who win the bid. The bus companies have a monopoly over the bus routes, etc. give some else a chance to offer a less expensive and maybe a better service.

I have a child in school. I am frustrated with this strike as are other parents. We need to work, too. I don't have job security why should these drivers/matrons etc.

Margie
Long Island City



I live in Red Hook in an area that is mixed residential and industrial including several bus depots. There have been drivers and matrons picketing across the street from my home since the beginning of the strike. I am a union member and generally support workers' rights, but the chanting from the picket lines has been extremely loud beginning at times at 5 in the morning. We are also on a truck route, so every time a truck drives by the driver honks repeatedly in support. I want to support the strike, but I haven't had a full night's sleep in three weeks. I was wondering how many of the depots are in residential neighborhoods and what the city's laws are for chanting, shouting, honking etc. at such early hours? Thanks!



Mayor Bloomberg is out of control, and turning the city upside down, as soon as he leaves office, I will throw a block party

Carmen



Disabled children’s transportation: what an excellent place for cost-cutting! When will people get it? “Fiscal responsibility” is code for “take it out of the little person’s hide.”

Cindy
Upper East Side



Bloomberg is a heartless, soulless, godless little man and he has inflicted more pain and demoralized New York City even more than the terrorists did.

Frances
East Village



Shouldn't we as taxpayers want a more efficient system that does the job required at a more reasonable cost? I do support the mayor's effort to cut costs.

Carl
Upper West Side



bloomberg has started his legacy of union busting against the largest and strongest unions in the city. this is bigger than bus drivers, teachers, or city employees in general. unions, workers... all of us need to fight this before we lose all our rights and forced labor becomes the norm.

Vivian
Woodside



I understand how important school buses are.

However I would suggest a "the call" show giving people an opportunity to suggest where the cuts the city needs to make should be made.

Susanne



As you know the mayor is very wrong about what he is doing to these students.Almost 35 years with the EPP,now he wnats to take it away.Now you have drivers, escorts,mechanics.They sending all these buses to pick up students when the mechanics are in strike too.there are no mechanics working either.So you have drivers,escorts,and mechanics,if one of the buses brake down on the streets who is going to pick them up?That means they are going to be freezing unil somebody private picks them up.



I am school bus driver. I would like to get my point a cross. This Mayor those not care about New York City children's at all. In the pass month alone people were push into the subway tracks and killed, and Bloomberg issue metro card to these children's risking the life's of them, not knowing if they get push into the subway tracks. Recently an inexperience school bus driver run over a lady in Brooklyn N.Y when the lady was crossing the street in Canarsie st. Mayor Bloomberg right now have the school bus drivers and matrons, teachers, police, and fireman's without contract and on the news he comes out saying the all he cares about is the safety of the children's. If this was true he would sign this contract without any hesitation. Mayor Bloomberg should be investigated by the City Controller. Because he is trying to cut down every union job to build his own empire. Right now he is saying that he would save taxpayers 3.6 millions by cutting down on the school bus drivers and matrons contract but what New Yorkers don't know is that, he is taking away these contract to make more money for him self before leaving office.

Mayor Bloomberg is building micro apartment the size of a living room, these apartment you could only fit two people in them something that New York City don't need at this moment. Mayor Bloomberg shouldn't compare New York with another state in terms of how much the other state spends in school bus transportation when the cost of living in New York is more. Also we are better train drivers. We go on the route training every month and we view videos on how to drive safely.

Matrons are certified on how to do CPR and also view videos on how to treat children's with disabilities. We the drivers and matrons asked the City of New York to support us in this strike for the safety of our children's since Mayor Bloomberg those not care. All we want is employee protection provision (EPP).

Arturo



SENIORITY USE TO BE SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF BUT BLOOMBERG HAS MADE SENIORITY A NIGHTMARE.

PEDRO
BRONX



Mayor Bloomberg needs to think about the children and end this strike and pay the drivers the money they deserve and work hard to get.

Jeanette



Bloomberg have mercy in those in needs. Those are people like many of us who are in need of returning to their job. They have children and family to support and that is their way of doing so, why punish them when they aren't doing anything illegal. Find it in your heart to return those people to their positions.

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