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The saddest thing about the school bus strike is that we've talked about it more on our program than City officials have with union members. Parents and students are struggling every day to get their children to and from school, and the DOE thinks handing out MetroCards and reimbursements for private car service will help solve the problem. Talking will help solve the problem. So, get to the bargaining table so the lives of some 150,000 students can return to normal.
As the City school bus strike continues in its second week, the National Labor Relations Board says it has reached a recommendation in the case. The NLRB’s Brooklyn office says it finished its review of the bus companies’ argument, and has submitted its recommendation to its office in Washington. A decision could come as early as next week. If the NLRB rules in favor of the City, drivers and matrons could be forced back to work.
As of this morning, the Department of Education said approximately 2,670 bus routes of about 7,700 were running. The DOE also said this week it worked with the Taxi & Limousine Commission to set up a reimbursement program for low-income students who are unable to use public transportation due to a disability. Families who qualify can have a taxi or private car service bill the DOE for the cost, so they do not have to pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement.
Also today, some local elected officials renewed their call for the City to implement a pilot transportation voucher program. The voucher system would allow parents to directly contract with bus companies to better meet their child’s needs at half the current cost. City Councilman David Greenfield said this will save the City money, while increasing the level of service for students. He says the City currently spends about $7,000 a year to transport each student to and from school, the highest per-pupil rate of any school district in the nation. What do you say?
Some parents in Brooklyn got the chance to ask questions today to the Executive Director of the DOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation. What questions do you have? Is the City doing enough to help parents, especially those with children with disabilities? What do you hope to hear from the National Labor Relations Board? Do you support a transportation voucher system?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
Spending $7000 a year per pupil for bus transportation is outrageous! Maybe not the drivers, but the unions are lining their pockets. Let's try the voucher system. It can't be any worse.
Port Richmond, SI
The school bus drivers fiasco could end if the mayor would stop trying to bust the union and negotiate a fair contract that would accommodate experienced drivers.
Felix Bay Ridge
The mistake that was made from the beginning is that the children should go to school in their own neighborhoods. Move the teachers around. But everyone seems to have to walk on egg shells for fear of someone taking what is said the wrong way.
This mayor and his organization just want to get rid of the union one way or another.
REMEMBER ONE THING HE SPENT A LOT OF TIME SETTING UP A SUPER BOWL FOR A YEAR THAT HE WON'T EVEN BE HERE = SEE = HE IS NOT INTERESTED IN ANY OF US AND IT'S A DAMN BECAUSE WE ARE DEALING WITH CHILDREN THAT HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS AND ALSO CHILDREN ARE CHILDREN.
I STILL DON'T KNOW WHERE WE GO WITH THIS=THIS MORNING IT SHOWED PICTURES OF THEM FREEZING OUTSIDE.
In their bitter little hearts, do the bureaucrats who send our children into this subzero pre-dawn,satisfy themselves with attendance numbers? Do they ever invoke the little Staten Island girl who was martyred when they last denied our babies a safe ride to school? Do they trip-stop my little daughters ordeal, tripling the time, because Bloomberg never even coordinated with the MTA to add buses? Buses are far between on Staten Island, and too packed with schoolchildren now to even stop Is anyone in "control" considering that the number of MTA buses is inadequate? .Meanwhile, I, her mother, have long gone on the ferry, a working mother. Stand out there with the children, mayor. Cross South Avenue in the frigid dawn, then the 48 to Richmond and Forest, Cross in rush hour traffic. Wait 45 minutes to get the 59. Cross the 8 lane Richmond Avenue. Walk again 10 minutes with heavy bookbags, Knowing you'll be late.
My child was aching this morning. I felt I would be endangering her to send her to school today, prone to asthma, below zero with wind chill, She was a soldier Tuesday and Wednesday. She wants to do well in school. But she is a small girl. You only gave her a cold MetroCard.
As a parent of two children who attend two different schools, located far apart, both of whom normally travel to and from school via yellow school buses, I am appalled by the lack of urgency around this issue. The parties involved refuse to take responsibility or even speak to each other. My husband and I are arriving late to work and leaving work early every day. We are run ragged. Our jobs are in jeopardy. No one in power wants to bring this to resolution. The City promised my children transportation and needs to find alternatives if the usual yellow buses are not running.
I want to know, who is responsible? If the bus companies are not fulfilling their contracts, then there should be new contracts with new companies. If the drivers do not want to drive there are plenty of people who need jobs.
I find it very disappointing that the Mayor is not willing to come to the table. It shows his lack of care for the children. Also in his latest statement he says the drivers and matrons are not city workers so it is not his place to negotiate, if that's the case then why was he negotiating in the beginning? There are rumors circulating that Mayor Bloomberg has ownership in a few bus companies and therefore will profit from bidding to his companies who of course will not hire union workers. The way the Mayor is refusing to negotiate makes these rumors seem true. America is a democracy yet Bloomberg treats NYC like his own communist state. The bus strike effects so many but media coverage is sparse. Its obvious this must be Bloomberg money and power at work.
I feel it's wrong what Bloomberg is doing to the kids that need the bus I have grandkids going to school n it's so hard to get them to school yea he don't care about the children in NYC all he is worried about it to shut people down and make them lose there jobs he don't worried about the middle class people he is just make the NYC people lose there jobs and go homeless he got money why don't he help out the city with his money and stop hurting our kids and us we need our jobs to help our family's no but he is just for himself like the rest ok them do they hurt the American people is he going to feed my kids and make sure all the children in NYC get to school no he wants to save money like they all do and Bloomberg you call yourself a father hahaha you are full of it you need to go some where run in traffic with ur crew that hang with you when you are making a speech. Help the school bus drivers get back to work end the school bus strike.
No we don't want no one other then the out school bus drivers 1181 union to pick up the children they have hearts and make it safe for our children no car services no city buses we want our school bus drivers 1181 back please stop the strike
Bloomberg you are making this city worst then what it is making this strike you are making people lose the jobs there Heath care insurance where are we going to find a job there are no jobs out there but you just don't care your hurting the children in the city here why are you doing this cause your getting out of office so you don't care be a man you are really making people lose a lot and our kids are hurting so bad end the strike I hope prez Obama can help us end this strike cause your not helping people you need to end this
Connie si ny
How could anyone currently working above and beyond their duties could dismiss the paramount importance of seniority? I believe that the city paying for taxis in their plight to get cheaper labor is equivalent to deplorable mercenary techniques in detriment of N.Y.C. children's safety. Appalling!
The Mayor thinks that everyone lives in Manhattan and can take a 10 minute train ride to get to school and work. He's out of touch. You can't even find a Cab in the outer boroughs.
David from Brooklyn
Driving a school bus is not rocket science. Why are we paying as if it is? I was shocked to hear that the City pays nearly $7,000 a child to deliver each student to and from school, as much as the tuition and fees at the State University of New York ! The taxpayers of New York City are not cash cows, thankfully our Mayor is trying to find a more cost-effective way to provide these necessary services.
Calvin, Brooklyn Heights
The bus workers are at or near the poverty level here. The city has put the burden of costs on our members while ignoring the profits enjoyed by wealthy bus company owners .
We want nothing more than to settle this strike.
The issues here are parallel to those of the Memphis sanitation workers in 1968, that lead Dr King to Memphis.
The many wealthy people in New York need to open their eyes to the injustice of this. $38,000 is not a living wage in New York.
Union agrees we want to talk.
Amalgamated Transit Union
it's important for parents to teach their kids how to use the city buses and trains we don't know how long the strike will go on. When i was in elementary school i was taking the bus to my dad's job in flushing queens , then when i reached middle school i started taking the train i am physically handicapped but i started studying the bus and subway maps my point is kids shouldn't rely on the school bus
upper west side
I'm the parent of TWO special needs children. The strike needs to end NOW.
Parents are having to choose between going to work and taking their kids to school!! Ironic, considering that the bus drivers are fighting for employee protection, but we parents have no protection against our employers firing US because we are not there!
Special needs kids are losing out not only on their education but on their desperately needed services!
The mayor has shown that he cares NOTHING for our kids. I'm disgusted.
Port Richmond SI
I am a single mother & a NYC School bus driver for 13 yrs. I am sooo frustrated that the News is not reporting the workers side of the story. I will try to keep this as short as possible with the facts from our side.
1) Mayor Doomberg said & I quote...“We are not employing these bus drivers. They’re employed by private companies." Ok, but Who hires the contractors to do the NYC BOE Runs? The City! So I am confused, if the Board Of Ed is run by the City & the BOE has the authority for hiring/firing, certifying/decertifying All Drivers/Matrons then why doesn't the City have the authority to negotiate putting the EPP in our contract? We go to them to get fingerprinted, background checks, to get our photo ID card & for hearings. Meaning they are in Highest control of us being hired/fired from our jobs. So how can someone have the authority to take away our jobs but at the same time have nothing to do with us?
2) We do not get paid 52 weeks a year. We ONLY work 40 weeks out of the year & the other 12 weeks we receive unemployment, the summer is already hard on all of us but this is what we signed up for. But knowing we had job protection!
3) We DO NOT receive personal days or sick days. So if we do get sick & are not able to go to work we DO NOT get paid.
4) We are all finger printed, have background checks, are ALL Board of Ed certified, we take at least 8 different safety classes per year, we are required to take Random Drug Test, plus Matrons are all CPR & First Aid certified. With all that we have to do WE deserve to keep our jobs, keep making a living & KEEP THE CHILDREN SAFE WITH OUR EXPERIENCE!!
5) As of January 31st we will no longer have health insurance!! All needed medications for a lot of us will be denied & That is Dangerous!
6) If you think about it, all the employees who will be out of work will need City, State & Federal assistance which could &/or would include…Unemployment, Food Stamps, Welfare, Medicaid & for some, Housing. For the ones who live in public housing now paying higher rent, their rent could go down to $50-$100 a month & that’s less money into NYC. Now to me this sounds like a LOT of money to be dishing out to THOUSANDS of people. So I am a little confused on how he is trying to budget the taxpayers money & our lives!! WE ARE TAXPAYERS!
7) He claims he cares about the children but he doesn't even know them, WE DO!! We spend 5 days a week with them & we come to care about them.
8) We drive the children to school during Blizzards, Hurricanes, Nor'easters, the worst of conditions. Do you think someone with less experience or making minimum wage is going to go out & risk their lives driving in these conditions? I don't think so!
9) Bloomberg always quotes tha it costs $6,900 per child to bus compared to California that only costs $3,100, BUT I'm sure California does not pay the Bus Contractors for the Matrons, The Gasoline and the Insurance on the buses!!!! This is why the BOE of NY pays so much, they are paying the contractors for all of this!!!!!! So the money is being spent on all of that, NOT OUR SALARIES!!!!!
THIS EGOTISTICAL BILLIONAIRE IS DESTROYING THE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION & HE IS OUT OF CONTROL!!!!!!!!
Laura – Bus Driver!
I know the union sounds like they are pushing it a little but they just want better conditions and better wages.
Ay Caramba !! our mayor is a joke
Carmen, Bay Ridge
Bloomberg is determined to break the unions even at the expense of the children. Those who denigrate the jobs of the drivers and matrons have probably never done a real hard job ever in their lives.
The only thing colder than this week's weather is Bloomberg's heart.
Mayor Bloomberg provoked this strike by taking away basic job protections bus drivers and matrons have had for 34 years. He wants to replace them with low wage workers and will hurt kids if there are not experienced trustworthy drivers. The Mayor has started a war on two fronts with the unions -- the bus drivers and the teachers. This is never a smart policy. We need solidarity -- there is a forum tomorrow afternoon at CUNY grad Center at 4:15 to support the striking bus drivers. That's at 34th ST. and 5th Avenue.
My daughter doesn't want the strike to end because she is enjoying getting a ride to school from her dad while drinking her coffee but to us is a major change in our schedules, leaving her in school earlier than custom and getting late to work.
Is the major doing something about this bus strike or does it intent to play stand off with the union?
This is ridiculous, doesn't he realize what is he putting the children with special needs through? Do you think that throwing a metro card to a parent of a child in a wheel chair will just fix everything up? The major doesn't give a crap when it comes to the children of New York.
Some children can't be inside a crowded bus or subway due to sensory issues or if God forbid a child has severe medical issues, do you major care?? Of course not! There are parents that might have 2 or 3 children that go to different schools and the poor parent has to run around like a chicken without a head trying to take her children to school and then trying to make it to work on time. Mr. Bloomberg, I know you don't care at all for the parents or the children of New York, Your attitude proves it!!! Shame on you!! You want to pay cheap so that you can claim you save the city money but what you don't realize is that you are putting the lives of our children in jeopardy.
Fed up parent
Some job security is a basic requirement for decent living. In a time that the biggest thieves from the stock market to the banks rule, it is a shame that when workers who make forty thousand a year ask for job security we vilify them in the name of competition. The only thing that free competition does in this economy is to lower salaries and create unemployment. I salute the bus drivers, and I hope they win for the sake of all of us.
Georgia from Astoria
The leadership of all sides in this debate should do one of two things: Start filling the talk with the importance of the pain they’re causing families that have already suffered a loss, or stop telling themselves they really do care about the disadvantaged.
dad to Alex
WHAT ABOUT THE WORKERS. THEY ARE GOING TO LOSE THEIR JOBS. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO FEED THEIR CHILDREN.
I'm a parent of a special needs child going to a specialized school in Long Island from Lower East Side. Since the strike started I have taken four vacation days and spent over $300 on hourly car rental. We are car pooling with another family, but both parents of both families work full time and we are running out of days that we can take off. I have done the calculations for the reimbursement and the amount comes to about little less than half of how much we spent because they only reimburse you on the mileage to school and back when the student is in the car. The money part aside, I am more worried about catching up on my work as I've missed so many days already. I hope that the us drivers and the matrons get what they want, but at this point I just want the bus service to start again.
Bloomberg is over the bus strike. He doesn't care about our kids. Bringing the Super Bowl to NYC seemed to be more important to him then resolving this bus issue.
Jessica with a special needs child, Astoria NY
I have been carpooling children in the morning. Driving a school is not easy, drivers have to deal with screaming, misbehaving children.
The COA will rule on the work stoppage, if the city sought to restore the EPP. But that's blackmail & responding to hostage-taking. The EPP is anti-competitive.
this standoff is all about bloomberg's agenda of busting unions. when the city puts the bus contracts out to bid they will go for the lowest bid, which will definitely be bus companies that pay drivers minimum wage or maybe just over minimum. they certainly won't pay union wages. all union employees will lose their jobs. like you said, the current drivers make maybe 35- 40,000 a year. you can barely survive on that in NYC. drivers and matrons making half that is what you'll get if king bloomberg has his way. he doesn't care about workers or children or ordinary people at all.
meryl from manhattan
I feel like this is ridiculous to have a mayor who not giving the matron and the bus driver a chance to work. I'm very extremely disappointed in the mayor cause he doesn't care bout people not even the kids. And he needs to step up and help the special kids that has special needs the strike needs to end. Now.
Sean from Harlem
I have been carpooling children in the morning. Driving a school is is not easy, drivers have to deal with screaming, misbehaving children with no matrons on the bus, mean, screaming parents, and negotiating traffic while vowing to keep the kids safe. Not mention how 1 error in judgment can cause them to lose their jobs. They should be allowed to negotiate.
If the Mayor can afford to start worrying about the 2014 Superbowl; why, can't he go to the table with the striking BUS DRIVERS..These people have BILLS and CHILDREN and are out of WORK..Superbowl not important NOW; but, CHILDREN GOING TO SCHOOLS and Parents going to work..COME ON BLOOMBERG
Where are the candidates for mayor? Where is the governor? Why is everyone being quiet? When they need votes, they will be standing in front of the subway to shake everybody's hands? And now where are all of city council? Why is everybody quiet about this? Many people are out of work, and the children need to get to school! BRING BACK OUR SCHOOL DRIVERS! Everyone is suffering, give the matrons and school bus drivers back their jobs!
What ever happened to shared struggle of the people? Sure it's inconvenient, but if we continue to allow the assault on organized labor in this country, how will THAT effect the kids? What example are we setting for them when we complain about people standing up for themselves because it is inconvenient for us?
No, the City isn't doing enough. The Chancellor and the Mayor both made it clear in December that they knew a strike was imminent. Yet, the contingency plan they came up with was only geared towards General Education students. To offer a MetroCard to Parents who can't take their children on overcrowded rush hour trains and buses due to sensory issues was and still is insensitive & unacceptable. It shows a lack of understanding of their District 75. In terms of cabs: do you get vouchers for the extra babysitter payment for a caretaker to pick up the child? I also haven't heard anyone speak to the fact that special needs children who have to stay home because there is no viable way for them to get to school are losing out on their related services therapies. Will the DOE give out RSA letters for time lost?
Nadine from Brooklyn
What if both parents work on the same job ? What they going to do with bills?
I've dealt with my fair share of bus drivers over the years, as a student (District 25) and now as a parent of 3 (District 26). Some of the drivers are excellent and some are incompetent. The School Transportation Coordinators have no Authority over the drivers and routes. When you contact OPT or the Bus Company about a bad driver, you get absolutely nowhere. Sorry for the rant. The Unions should be striking a deal with the bus companies and stop harassing the city. If it's really about the kids they would have waited until June to strike. Asking for job security is absurd. Nobody expects to get hired at IBM and plan on retiring there. That went out with the 70s. If I thought that the Union was doing more to get rid of the bad drivers, they might garner some sympathy and support from me.
Lewis from Douglaston
I hope the drivers and matrons lose their jobs. I don't care about their job security. I certainly don't get job security and missing work due to their strike is putting my job at risk.
I have 2 children with spec needs. First of all let me say that i understand the actions of the drivers/matrons. However, now is not a good time walk out on your job in this struggling economy. Thank god! one of my children who attends a private school in Westchester has returned to school but m daughter who attends a public school in Manhattan has not been to school since the strike. I can not take her because I have to work. Because of Mayor Bloomberg I was forced to choose between my rent and my autistic child's education. Bloomberg is rich and does not have children who rely on the school buses, so he does not care.
My father is a bus driver and my stepmom is a matron. As you can see , the buss strike is not benefiting anybody , but the mayor . My little sister now missed the whole week of school because nobody have time to take her to her school all the way in queens from Brooklyn . This strike is actually hurting the students . Not just the students but the buss drivers and matrons that work for the bus company everyday. Alot of these buss drivers and matrons have homes and bills they must pay every month ! Strike money is not doing anything. They don't even get paid alot of money . This strike honestly Is causing alot of chaos. This is From A Daughter Of A Buss Driver . Please help us it's not easy for us.
I feel bad for the parents suffering due to this strike while I sympathize with drivers I think that they're not considering the economic effects like ppl losing days of work and possibly losing their jobs and special needs children who have no other way of being transported to and from school. The mayor and dept of ed need to stop their nonsense and start getting a solution in place our children need to be in school learning not being in the midst of mayoral and board of ed incompetence. It is the same incompetence that lost over 200+ million which again our kids will feel it all because these people can't do their jobs.
People who suggest that "no job is secure" and that people who want to be sure of a job should "go back to school and train for another job" are missing several essential points.
1.) They've forgotten, apparently, that there's still a huge job shortage left over from 2008, with lots of people who still can't find work. Will the people who are willing to see all these additional people become unemployed be willing, too, to see a ton of new people dumped on the unemployment lines?
2.) It's not the younger, relatively cheaper drivers who are likely to lose jobs now. It's the people who have held steady work for many years, and are relatively more expensive, who are likeliest to go. Would all the people who are ready to see the bus drivers lose their jobs be equally willing to be laid off themselves just because someone says they're earning too much money, and someone is willing to do the job for less pay? The mayor's stance is threatening all of us. If he wins on this, which boss won't be encouraged to dump all his higher-paid employees/
It's union-busting, pure and simple.
182 school days and $7000 per kid per year. A little over $38 per kid per day. Something is wrong!
I've been a matron for 18 years and I bring home $424 a week, I just want to be able to keep my job, I'm not asking for a raise! My husband has been a driver for 20 years, he is 60 years old how does he go back to school?who will hire a 60 year old man?. We will be on unemployment or welfare! How is that saving the city money!
I'm a 14 year old student. I don't go to a public school so i take the train to school. I've been watching this since it has started and i am very disappointed with Mayor Bloomberg because how aren't these bus drivers not skilled or trained. This isn't right for him to do. If we had these bus drivers before and it wasn't a problem then why is Mayor Bloomberg making this such a big problem now. This is hurting some of my friends who's parents cant take them to school.
The mayor & the DOE need to come to an agreement with the bus drivers. He can give them job security, he's a liar. It's his way or the highway he doesn't care about the students. He's nothing but a union buster. He would not agree with the teacher's union on a fair evaluation system either.
Lyn in Staten Island
Although we're affected we have it easy compared to many others. I'm a bit upset at the Roosevelt Island Tram for conducting maintenance this week when a lot of parents need to pick up their children from Roosevelt Island as they have one of the larger special ed schools in NYC.
I wonder how the matrons and bus drivers are able to continue if they're not getting paid during the strike. I sympathize with both sides and hope they can come to an amicable solution. In the meantime, I'll deal with the cold as needed.
Everyone knows that Mayor Bloomberg and this Administration have a disdain for unions. He has no intention of negotiating with 11-81. And what exactly is this law?? Quote it -- Cite it. Mayor Bloomberg should give people a synopsis of the decision that the Appeals court actually came down with in regards to their claim. Explain it outright to people so that they really can believe your nonsense. Or else just continue to look as if all you are about is union busting and do not care about the Middle Class -- which are the bus drivers along with most of us.
I'm a bus matron an have been for 17yrs. And all we want is job security not money parents needs to know that an to jennifer why r u so mad cause you have to get off your lazy butt an take your own child to school get a grip.
My child is special ed, we live in queens and she goes to school in manhattan we have had nothing but problems for the past two years we the current drivers and matrons, for three months we had a set of nice people... Last Year was a nightmare the whole year.
I don't believe there is qualified people, These people are working for the limited hours they work look to drop the last kid off by 3-4pm so the can finish there day.
Lazy people who made a choice to do this job.
They need to get back to work or get out. There is plenty if good people out there who can be trained do do a good job.
It is a huge inconvenience for me and my family but they chose the wrong profession if they are looking for job security
Everyone feels entitled as long as someone else pays for it. $7000 per student? $1.1 billion in total costs? Unreal. Only children with special needs should be bused. Everyone else, go to your neighborhood school or take the subway. Yet some of these parents feel entitled to busing. Please Mayor Bloomberg, jsut busing for special needs. The drivers feel entitled to job security and hold the children hostage. "Experienced drivers are safer for the kids" meanwhile some of these people are slashing tires and blocking other buses from running. Do these people really have the children's best interest in mind? Also $38,000 for 40 weeks work is pretty good considering the job is pretty easy. Add the unemployment they get and its damn sweet. If the drivers don't want to drive there are plenty of people willing to work. Please mayor Bloomberg don't cave in and negotiate with the drivers.
Everyone deserves the right to strike for a cause and they definitely have reasons. Instead of the mayor focusing on Super Bowl festivities they should sit down and address this issue. It seems that the only ones speaking about this issue are parents and drivers. I am a parent and it is definitely freezing outside for children to have to travel long distances to get there education.
I am not affected by the strike since I do not have children. But, In my opinion, Blumberg does not care about us NYorkers. The timing of this after Sandy is just another set back for us during this difficult time. This does not send a good message. Blumberg is well off and cannot relate.
Overall it's damaging to NYorkers. There is no reason why Blumberg cannot come to the table.
You know you are hurting the kids more in NYC and making it so hard for 1181 workers to go to work they have family's to feed oh I forgot you get everything free you don't spend a Penney you save your penny's like the rest of your people do that's why this city is in trouble it's people like you you don't care about the middle class people you care for you self look in the mirror see what you are doing to the kids in NYC you should be taking out of office you never help the NYC people you just kick them up the butts shame on you shame shame on you look in the mirror
The mayor, in trying to break the bus driver union, is driving down NYC wages. His explaination, that it stops 'start-up companies' from competing because they must pay the same wage as an established company, is ridiculous. Just watch how quickly the established companies shut down if they are paying more than these startups---that will likely be owned by the same people. The newspapers in this town ignore this huge story. If, as Republicans always say, there 'just isn't enough money' then it's time to tax financial transactions. Just 1% of the trillions of securities bought each day in this city, could pay the entire NYC annual budget. Meanwhile we're all out in the cold. Settle this thing!
Parents like me with special needs kids now have to take time away from work, spend more $ by hiring caretakers, and worry about uncertain commutes. Kids used to routines are now dealing with more stress and decreased safety. All because of fear and selfishness. No one forced the drivers or matrons into this industry. The social contract of a job in this country unfortunately includes some uncertainty. Folks should be paid fairly, treated decently, and then the rest is up to capitalism. This is weird, but I'm a liberal saying "we are not socialist." I do not understand the great number of comments saying this is the mayor's fault, or that Bloomberg is trying to bust the union. The Mayor did not go out on strike, the union did. So, the assumption is that striking is a reasonable response to fears of losing one's job (I cannot comprehend this), that abandoning one's job responsibilities -- particularly one's involving a pretty important public service -- is appropriate, and that it's the mayor's job to ensure that folks the City does not employ keep their jobs. The same folks demanding job security would probably not like it if, as business owners, they were forced to use certain vendors and pay certain prices -- costs that would cut into their take home pay (it all comes around). Perhaps for every driver who demands security, there is another qualified driver who is seeking a job and can't get one due to not being allowed in the union? Where is the ethical and moral outrage about folks abandoning their important job duties? "The mayor made us do it." No. Who has job security these days, in any industry? What country is that? It is not the US. Arguably, going out on strike is extortion. "I won't work unless you guarantee me work!" Huh? No. I will hire someone else, which I wish the bus companies would do quickly. This is between the potential new bus company and the union. The stance of unionized strikers that the City has control avoids taking direct responsibility. The City, and the parents, are the CUSTOMERS. Instead, drivers and matrons should concentrate on doing their jobs well, and they will likely keep their jobs. If not, then they will have to find another. It happens. It happened to me. NO one is entitled though. Customers are not job security hostages. Remember, striking has risks too -- you may lose your jobs by striking, and you certainly will take a hit on public sentiment.