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We had a great response on this topic tonight, with every line ringing from the moment the show began. Many of you, whether you were parents or drivers or matrons, were frustrated. In our snap poll tonight, we asked parents how they’re planning to get their children to school tomorrow and surprisingly, many of them aren’t. A surprisingly large 58% said they will keep their children home if a bus driver strike goes into effect tomorrow. I hope things are resolved soon because, as often is the case, the students will bear the brunt of the pain. More of your thoughts posted below.
The clock is ticking toward a school bus strike in the City. More than 8,000 school bus drivers and matrons plan to walk off the job tomorrow morning. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, which represents the drivers, is calling for job protections to be put back into its bus contracts, which the City is putting out for bid. Essentially, that would mean keeping higher-paid, more experienced drivers before hiring someone new, something the City says is illegal.
The stalemate is forcing parents to come up with contingency plans for their kids. More than 150,000 students rely on public transportation, many of them special-needs children. The City today handed out MetroCards to students and parents of kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders, leaving other parents with the option of either putting their child on a subway or bus alone or keeping them at home. The City says it also offering to reimburse parents who don’t live near public transportation and need to drive their kids to school or take a cab.
What’s your reaction to the impending school bus strike? If you are a parent of a child that relies on public transportation, what are your plans tomorrow? Do you think the job protections the union is calling for is fair?
Reply with your thoughts using the link above.
How is keeping higher paid experienced drivers above new and inexperienced drivers illegal? what's more important here the safety of school kids or the city saving a few bucks.
I am completely behind the bus drivers and believe they have a valid and fair request. Our City children deserve the best school bus drivers money can buy. Most of the current drivers fit that description.
I wish them the best of luck fighting against the tyrannical mayor we have. They have my support.
As a teacher, I witness on a daily basis the work done by the bus drivers and matrons I have worked with children for over 25 years and I am still amazed at the patience and caring these people exhibit. I have lost track of the times I have watched them assist children in all kinds of weather beginning as early as 7 AM. In some cases, where severely handicapped children are involved, these people have to carefully get them off the buses while they are in heavy wheel chairs and other assistive devices. Some of these children are barely able to function. I have watched matrons carry boxes of diapers into the school in pouring rain and freezing snow. These drivers and matrons do a job many would have great difficulty doing. As is usual in our society, we treat those less fortunate than ourselves with contempt instead of respect and admiration. These people deserve a fair wage and some recognition of their service and loyalty. Instead, in his usual manner, Bloomberg comes along, and despite the billions he has wasted on phony contracts to his cronies, uses penny pinching as an excuse to engage in his beloved union busting activities. Wise up people. Many of you trust your children's lives to these people. Do you really want them hired for cheap wages or because they have the experience to do the job right? Bloomberg should be ashamed for his despicable behavior. WHile the strike is inconvenient it is the last resort of a group of desperate people who need to support their families fighting a selfish, egomaniacal 21st century tyrant.
Just another instance of union goons out to rule the world and force citizens to pay for their excesses. Fire them all.
Why did they take away the half fare for the school children? This Bloomberg and company are just trying to break the unions. When the city was broke the unions did lend the city money which they still have not paid back. According to Bloomberg and company they tell just one side of it. There was a time a few years back that some union workers were still owed money at that time for as far back as 10 years. When and how do they pay back. So in front of the cameras it always looks like the unions are making unreasonable demands. That is not always the truth. We need to know the complete story from this administration and also the one up-state that is doing nothing to change the climate of the politicians and their antics in New York State.
BIDDING HAS NOT BEEN ENTERTAINED FOR 30 YEARS. ALL OF A SUDDEN, THERE NEEDS TO BE BIDDING.
IF THE CITY COUNCIL CAN TAKE A VOTE, AND PERMIT THAT FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS OF NO BIDDING ,THAT WORKED OUT WELL, AND SHOULD BE THE STANDARD.
THE MAYOR SEES THAT AS ILLEGAL, NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH HIS RIGGING OF HIS THIRD TERM AS MAYOR SUPPORTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL.
I SUBMIT, MANY RETIRED POLICE OFFICERS AND RETIRED NYCTA BUS OPERATORS COMMAND THESE SCHOOL BUSES.
WHAT COULD BE MORE SAFER?
Does anyone realize that Mayor Bloomberg wants to put 10,000 people out of work. The Mayor is worried about saving money for tax payers, what about the 10.000 bus drivers and matrons he wants to put on the unemployment line. These bus driver don't make a whole lot of money, top drivers make about 50,000 per year,yet they wanna take away their benefits and cut their salery. These people are experienced and do a great job and keep the childern safe.They now want to hire bus drivers for eight dollars an hour,You tell me who is really thinking about the saftey of these childern. Mayor Bloomberg makes billions of Dollars and these people can not even make a simple living ,So these drivers and matrons who have been doing this for years will now be let go. Thats just not fair .What choice do these peole have just sit back and say ok cut my salary and my benefits .Look who is really walking out on the childern, It is not these bus drivers and matons. It is the Mayor and his staff.
How many unions are the DOE -- or should I say Mayor Bloomberg -- going to fight? The ATU Local 1181 and of course as always the UFT. The DOE always seems to have excuses for fighting unions -- it's always in the best interests of the children and it's always the unions that are culpable in ruining our children. Why don't I believe that one.
UNION FOES TO THE END.
This is an idea for the kids only----have the kids come in hours earlier so all parents can fix to drop them off without it effecting their work schedule and let the kids stay until the parents come home---the reward for the extra hours will be to get out a few days earlier this year for summer vacation---------just turn it into a longer day and pay the teachers the money
can the city use nypd buses ?or assign some old city buses and a few city drivers who already are approved to drive a city bus to replace the school bus for a period of time until they negotiate ----they will still be needed
i thought of an idea to make parents relax-----get the mayor to have employers give the parents a break for lateness or some absence ---back everything up to the employer ---maybe the employer can get a tax break for loss due to the state james -----------plus --i feel sorry for the bus driver who wants to go to work tommorrow and dont go along with all the [[[OTHERS]]]
call the president and bring the national gaurd------protect our future ---its a crisis-----plus-------start arranging in the future a plan b that vteachers have just in case kids cant go to school -----so the kids can just switch to it and put the distraction to the side
In June 2012 a bus driver who had drop off a child ,but had an accident . This driver was killed , and no one cared. This drivers work very hard. They have to deal with traffic and at times rude people on the street. At times most companies don't pay them the right amount of monies for their overtime. They need protection and respect. I like to see mr. Bloomberg behind a wheel , for him to experience these drivers job. The drivers and matrons will suffer, but the children will suffer more. Bloomberg stop being stubborn . The economy is bad why mess with these drivers and their family. Bloomberg has no heart and doesn't deserve respect. Give these drivers RESPECT.
i am a mother of 2 1 is handicap and i have been having a hard time getting help to survive in this city with my children now with this bus strike i can not get the help with my handicap son he has cebralposi he can not get to school because i have no way to get him to school
Bloomberg is a vile little bully who is hellbent on union busting and getting his own way no matter what the cost in terms of human suffering. Anyone remember the Alvarez and Marsal debacle?
Cronyism and bullying is all he's about.
To say that the bus strike is inconvenient is an understatement. Many students who receive bus services receive it because the service is a requirement on their Individualized Education Service Program. Therefore, the Department of Education needs to find a way to transport these students safely to school. Failure to provide transport is illegal. Students with special needs whose parents work shouldn't be deprived of their education.
The mayor has stated that adding the protection is illegal but so is not providing transport. More time needs to be spent finding alternative transportation provided by the Department of Education. It's is educational neglect on behalf of the DOE. Working parents shouldn't have to jeopardize losing their jobs because the DOE failed to see an error in a contract for 30 years. Metro cards and reimbursement isn't a solution.
I don't think the city can replace these experienced drivers, they know the routes they know parents to these kids, like that earlier caller said is all about the money, if the kids get to school then there would be federal funding, why is it that I believe MR. BLOOMBERG is trying to some way some how hurt the city of NEW YORK in the DUMBEST most un educated and most unreasonable ways, and why is the chancellor even picked by BLOOMBERG how did he get there Im sure it wasn't a democratic way where you get to vote local leaders, in this state, I didn't vote him in..... Ohhhh yeah he was hand picked by yours truly BLOOMBERG........correct me if I'm wrong now.......
The mayor doesn't get paid for doing his job then where does that check really go, he only paid what a penny in taxes, there goes the way to tax the wealthy........
The mayor is saying that the strike is illegal. But what is illegal is what he wants to do to the drivers and matrons, having them to work without the benefit protection plan.
I don't understand what is going on in this country regarding labor rights. I thought job securtity rights based on seniority was settled during the FDR's New Deal. What's next 12 hour job shifts and no lunch.
The mayor claims he is trying to save the city money, tens of thousands of dollars he said. One fatality due to an inexperienced driver is going to cost the city far more than that in law suites and legal fees.
He wants to send children in cabs. Cab drivers aren't screened or fingerprinted or trained like school bus drivers. What is a cab driver going to do if a special needs child has a seizure or asthma attack in a cab? They are not trained for it.
I have been a school bus driver for 24 years i have only driven special needs children. i think it is appalling that the mayor and walcott want to point the finger at the union, contractors, drivers and matrons. the mayor wants to insist on the epp being illegal well its been in place for 30yrs plus that i am aware of. it was possible for him to run an extended term when all of sudden that became legal hmmm makes you wonder. the mayor is looking to save money then how is it that he not only reinstated a cut in the matron monies that guiliani had reduced he went one better and increased the money....also how is he saving money handing out metro cards to students of all ages to get to school...my niece received a metro card she is 5 years old and lives 3 blocks from school....why in the world would she need a metro card what a waste of money. what he does not realize that this is not all about the money the children will suffer terribly especially the special needs children and how dare walcott say we are abandoning the children he just came into office doesnt do his homework as far a i'm concerned.... when my students ride my bus not only are they happy their parents are as well........how dare either one of them decide my future 24 years for me in this industry and i may loose everything for what cheaper and less experienced drivers and guess what i am a single parent trying to pay bills and the awful taxes bestowed on us!! shame on them... oh and may i quote the OPT safe and clean buses...u can't get safe with inexperience!!!
I think that striking makes the kids suffer. The drivers should just go to work because no one can afford to not have a job. If someone can do the job for less money that's great.
The Mayor has his on special interest in this issue because he's part owner of a school bus company.
The mayor is trying to break unions through out New York. The wealthy continue to make the majority of people low paid workers. The Mayor continues to make this city extremely hard to live in by raising taxes, rent , gas prices, food prices, and MTA fares and bridge tolls. The Blame is always pointing to the unions instead of the years of mismanagement and corruption of city officals, such as in the MTA, NYCHA, and the Board of Education. Where is the money from the New York lottery for schools. What have the MTA management done to justified a fare hike. Do anyone remembers when they had two books? The real objective by the Mayor is to spread the Right to work agenda which is really take what every I give you and be happy to have a job because I can always get someone cheaper. People wake up. Time to change certain jobs to elective offices so that we the people will again control of our lives. Write to your officials to make NYC MTA, Education and Housing heads elected officals. This is just as important as the gun ban petition.