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While bus drivers and matrons walk the picket lines outside Department of Education headquarters, I can see Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and his aides huddled inside with their fingers in their ears saying, "Nah nah, nah nah nahhhh, We cannn't hear youuuuuu."
I'm kidding. Kind of.
Today is the day bids are due from bus companies hoping to win contracts to transport public school students to and from school. The deadline comes more than three weeks after drivers from the Amalgamated Transit Union went on strike because the new contracts won't include job protections for current drivers or matrons.
Mayor Bloomberg has refused to negotiate during the strike because a court ruled the Department of Education can't force a private company it contracts with to guarantee jobs. Meantime, three bus companies are suing because job protection clauses will continue to exist in many of the contracts that aren't up for bid. What do you say?
Should City Hall halt the bidding process and focus on ending the current labor dispute? Should these bus drivers and matrons be guaranteed their jobs from contract to contract? How is the ongoing school bus strike affecting you?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
im a bus driver and i loss all my benefits by the strike like a medical insurance and all my bills are late we need the EPP to survive in this expensive city
The city council grilled Dennis Wolcott about the bus strike for five hours last week....the guy does not give a rat's behind about getting children to school. I personally support the Bus Driver's Union; they had to strike; Seniority should count in the important role that the driver's have in our children's lives. Wolcott and Mayor Bloomberg can make one or two phone calls and the strike will be over.
Meanwhile, Wolcott and Mayor Bloomberg continue to rant about teacher's review; they speak of "training" new teachers. Our "new" teachers are graduating with degrees from universities such as NYU and Columbia; they are more qualified than the principals who harrass them. DOE wants to train them to be teachers; in other words, train them to be less enthusiastic and break their spirit.
How about the principal who took the teens to the paint ball place in Long Island City so they can play WAR games. Dennis Wolcott"s response was that the "principal" said she was "sorry" and won't do it again. Is he for real?
MAYOR BLOOMBERG IS SAYING THAT HE SAVING THE CITY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. BUT HE DOES NOT LOOK INTO HOW THE MANAGING OF B.O.E. I KNOW HOW MANY KIDS GO ON SCHOOL BUS, HAVE METRO CARDS, THATS EXTRA EXPENSE. KIDS MOVES, THAT BUS HAVE THE KIDS ON THE ROUTE. GO ON ANOTHER BUS COMPANY AND GET PAID FOR THE SAME KID. ON AND ON. THEY DONT TAKE KID OF THE ROUTES. THEY ARE KEPT FOR YEARS ON THIS ROUTE AND THEY DONT USE THIS BUSES.. LET US WORK. PUT THE EPP ON THE BIDS.
The only way this gets settled rationally is to put the service out to bid.
And get rid of the unions.
Port Richmond, SI
my son rides the bus,as a parent the drivers nor the mayor care about these kids. It’s been almost a month in no one has given an inch but both sides keep screaming this is for the kids. sure it is
Hello my name is Beth and I think the mayor or city officals should come to an agreement cause this is having a huge effect on our children and us parents running back and fourth. The mayor never seems to get involved with anything and what kind of a mayor of that, I think that is one mayor who doesn't care about out children and their needs and what's best for them.
The mayor is trying to bust a union, plain and simple. He refuses to negotiate. The fact of the matter is the EPP is legal. He has said that. The media chooses to ignore the fact also that the NLRB has ruled that the strike is legal , and that the city should be involved in negotiations. The entire city council, the city comptroller, the city's public advocate, and respected judge and mediator Milton Mollen, have all asked the mayor to bring the bus bids in, and negotiate a settlement to this terrible strike. The mayor wants to destroy the union at any cost to the public. His statement that it costs less to transport a child to school by cab, than by school bus, is the same asinine statement that his previous ill equipped Chancellor Cathleen Black made. The fact of the matter is he is out of touch of what every day people go through to make a living, and the parents who have to get their kids to school by bus. Mayor Bloomberg, alone will decide when this strike will end, and that is a terrible disgusting reality.
your letting these good people from 1181 lose there jobs now bad enough they have no medical r u going to pay there bills n medical no u won't but if they were from another country u would these people r proud to work for a living n ur taking it away from them.
Why can't he settle this before taking such extreme measures. This is a person that has no compassion. He has all the money in the world and yet insists on belittling us in every way possible and is also sadistic. He must be the most unhappiest person all of his life and gets pleasure taking it out on the little people. We are going from hand to mouth as it is and it doesn't seem to effect him at all and so he carries on in the same way all the time. He acts like he's a god of some kind. HIS WAY OR NO WAY AT ALL=HE CAN'T GET OUT OF HERE SOON ENOUGH.
This fight is not just about school bus workers but about all unions. Employee protection is the cornerstone of ALL UNIONS!
The existing bus companies will close, open up with new names, fill their pockets with more money and pay their new employees less money. This has been done before and the EPP stops them from doing that.
When is the Bloomberg admin going to learn that education is not a Bussiness? As a NYCDOE teacher I have personally experience the disaster Bloomberg has caused trying run our school as a Bussiness, and now my husband is experiencing it as well as a school bus driver. There is a human aspect to education; running education like a Bussiness removes that human aspect. These are our children not items.
Yadira - Castle Hill
Bidding should not go on until strike is settled. How can u bid, if u don't know what you have to pay your employees. Putting the cart before the horse.UNLESS SOMEBODY knows the outcome (wink,wink,puppet master).
My name Tommy I have been a driver for 20 years my wife Dina is a matron for 18 years. With the NLRB in favor of ATU saying our strike is legal and the Mayor and the DOE is directly involved with drivers and matrons certification, disciplining and decertifying. What part of going to the table don't he understand. The children are suffering the parents are suffering and we are suffering. And to add fuel to the fire what about all the driver and matrons that don't have money or a medical. How about all the drivers and matrons that are homeless from Sandy. It heartbreaking to see how heartless this man truly is. Shame on you Bloomburg.
1st Mayor Doomberg said the Strike was illegal & we proved that to be a LIE. Then he said the City doesn't sit down with the Bus Contractors & the Union....ANOTHER LIE!!
The following are some of the City’s statements in court proceedings in favor of the EPP:
“EPPs advanced accepted competitive bidding goals by…facilitating the use of proven, experienced workers, hence enhancing quality…” “…the desirable goal is best quality for lowest cost, as opposed to lowest cost in a vacuum. . . .providing transportation for very young disabled children, an unrelenting focus on the lowest cost is unrealistic and improper…” “EPPs. . .should be sustained because they promote the public bidding goals of obtaining the best possible services at the lowest possible costs.” 1st Mayor Doomberg said the Strike was illegal & we proved that to be a LIE. Then he said the City doesn't sit down with the Bus Contractors & the Union....ANOTHER LIE!!
Hopefully someone can talk sense into this EGOTISTICAL Mayor or tell him to take a step back & let someone more skilled & who has compassion for the working class people. We are not sitting home living off the taxpayers because WE ARE THE TAXPAYERS. Please, if there is anyone out there who can help us keep our jobs & get these children back to school & who is NOT afraid to step up to this Multi Billionaire Mayor PLEASE step forward!! PLEASE!!!!!! We need your HELP! I am sending out an SOS!!!
Laura A. from the Bronx
They Should get job security ! We don't understand our mayor's Ideas and Intentions ! Our children are first.
Although I believe the Mayor to be anti-union, I have to agree with him with regard to the current school bus strike.
This issue although it affects many school children, it is an issue between employees and employers of a private industry.
I live in Queens, I have two special needs children, and I think this is pitiful, I think the bus drivers and matrons are irresponsible to do something like this, to walk out on these kids, I've only managed to get one of my kids there, and he's still late everyday, I don't drive, and its really hard on me. They need to stop blaming the mayor and get it together. The kids are suffering.
BLOOMBERG MUST HAVE INVESTED LOTS OF HIS MONEY IN THESE CHARTER SCHOOLS.
The mayor is just flexing his muscles. Any job that deals with our kids should be a closed system, not randomly given to the lowest bidder. It's safer for our children to have the same workers who are dedicated to their jobs, and who know all the rules and regulations of the job
Lee, gravesend Brooklyn
Bloomberg continues to try and bust Unions, now through third party bidding. I notice that other than this program none of the mainstream media are allowing the workers voices to be heard.
American worker productivity continues to rise, while corporate profits rise, and workers wages are frozen with no job security. The fact that our entire consumer base is being undermined can be reversed through employment.
Destroying more border line families ultimately becomes a taxpayer burden anyway. Why can't we save families, and strengthen our communities, rather than pit poor matrons, against poor parents when the idle rich like Bloomberg can sit comfortable on their wealth.
Meanwhile our children are safe with these drivers, who knows what quality of employee our children will be struck driving them into danger...
As a child who's parent is a NYC Bus driver I feel that they should be able to maintain the position before this strike began. I have seen how this strike has affected my family as well as many other families of my mother's fellow co-workers as well as of the students who frequently really on my mother to transport them to school and truth is that Bloomberg does need these bus driver's. I have also seen many times where the company where my mother has worked has closed down and we where never worried on whether if my mom would be able to work and if she would be able to help my father makes ends meet. So the causes to which many of these people are fighting are definitely acceptable. If my mother pays her union fees and always does an exceptional job they why should she have to suffer and start from the bottom up when she has worked her way to level and position that she is in...
It's not only hard on the bus drivers, tha matrons or the parents and kids, but also the kids siblings. Since the strike I became responsible In taking my sister to and from school, making me late yo class almost every morning and sometimes leaving earlier from school. Mayor Bloomberg is inconsiderate to everyone and believes if they don't have the measures we are to fend for ourself. Sick to my stomach to live during these selfish times and these are the people we choose to lead and represent us as Americans !
Lorena, Bronx .
If your not a Civil Servant, The City cannot give you job protection. Lets get real
Americans ought to have job security, and I'd like to see it start somewhere and spread. Workers give their labor to an employer for 15-20 years, and finally they achieve a salary that allows they to live comfortably. And then, employers decide to hire new employees for lower wages and fewer benefits to replace them. By omission, Michael Bloomberg supports this. If an employee is loyal to his/her employer, he/she ought to have job security. I don't feel it's good/fair/human to lay off 50somethings who have worked the better part of their life for an employers, because he/she wants to make some more money off the backs of younger/newer hires.
this bus strike is affecting everyone. not only are drivers not working and having to stand in the cold terrible weather or the children are having a difficult time getting to school but also the families of the students and drivers who has to watch all this chaos go on. a strike should lead to some type of incentives but we are just dealing with stubborn leaders who refuse to cooperate and work in some type of way with the people they should be representing !
Private contractors for the city have city oversight but are NOT city employees covered by city benefits/protection. This is the REASON the city contracts out the work. If it were actually city employees on these buses, the city would be bankrupt. If they WERE city employees, they would all be facing disciplinary action as this strike would be illegal ever since the Regan era air traffic controllers decision. If they cared about our disabled kids so much they would be delivering them to the care they need so badly.
I am ok with the Mayor not participating in negotiations with these terrorist bus drivers. I am ok with the drivers losing their jobs. What I can not forgive is the lack of solution. The city owes my kids transportation. I am losing too much time at work and my budget is taking a huge hit.
Jane / UWS
We need our congressmen ALL congressmen to be in agreement and over ride the mayor. They can step in if they all agree to assist their people with job security!!!
How can the mayor say he or the city can not come to the table and negotiate? The National Labor Board ruled the strike LEGAL and that the employees have TWO employers. The Board of Education has the legal right to discipline any driver or matron. They also have the right to pull an employees certification for the board of Ed meaning that person can NEVER work with the board of Ed again.
Also there is precedent with this employee protection plan. A supreme court judge mediated the same issue in 1979 and accepted the contract with the EPP in it. How can it be illegal now??
How are these people not entitled to job security? Teachers, cops, firemen, bank employees all have job security. As stated before the city is an employer so yes these people are entitled to security. This is a state and city problem. If hundreds of people are out of a job how can they support themselves and their family? Unemployment, welfare, food stamps will all go up causing the city even MORE MONEY!!!!
The mayor is mixing up the ruling on pre school runs with regular runs. The mayor is throwing numbers out there that aren't accurate. We are not at the end of a school year, all the buses aren't on the roads and not all the children are going to school.
The mayor tried to save money on pre school runs and actually had to pay more because the company who got the bid could not adequately serve the children. There were too many accidents, runs were too long and the children suffered.
Once again the DOE figures are in. All the savings that the DOE is receiving due to this bus strike -- only having to pay $19.2 million for reimbursement to families as opposed to their number of $64.8 million to bus these same children. Really, as usual the DOE can spin the numbers anyway that they like -- we have all been here before. How can any person actually believe the DOE's figures or that of City Hall??
By the way where is Ms. Christine Quinn in all of this -- "Queen of the Middle Class".
Its completly unfair i take the bus and Mayor Bloomberg is just abusing the power and making not only the workers but the kids suffer. For example wheelchaired kids are much harder but whats stupid is hes putting unexpirenced workers other than workers that know what there doing and how the kids work this is just outragouse.
I am sorry for everyone's inconvenience but I support the bus strike 100 % drivers and matrons are fighting for what they deserve and I hope they get it
Carmen, Bay Ridge
the governor is conspicuously absent from the bus strike because he agrees with bloomberg's union busting tactics. Remember that cuomo and bloomberg conspired to create a new tier with less benefits for city workers, and cuomo forced state workers to get a zero raise in pay for years to come.
EPP has been included in contracts in the past, so it's clearly legal. this is about busting the union so that private companies can hire drivers at barely minimum wage.
People died and people suffered in the past to establish unions so that workers would be protected. I don't understand people who say that there is no job security just because they don't have it. Instead of wanting to take benefits and jobs away from union workers, we should fight together so that all workers are protected. United we stand, divided we fall.
has anybody looked at the profits of the bus companies? I'll bet you anything that they're making a bundle, and so would any new companies, at the expense of ordinary workers who earn 35 -45,000 a year. That's who bloomberg cares about, rich company owners.
Meryl from manhattan
As a teacher and unionist who stands in solidarity with the innocent victims of Bloomberg's slash and burn policy, I know that after the education workers, (teachers, school bus drivers), the post office workers are next. The story about Saturdays being stopped for delivery is just another step towards privatization, a national conspiracy of the ruling class. The bus drivers have every right to strike- they deserve their livelihoods!!! The people who agree with the mayor's dictatorial "leadership" will themselves feel the "iron heel" of privatization as their turn comes eventually!
Martin in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
My name is Michelle and I live in Staten Island. My son goes to a school in Brooklyn. To get a bus route for him took 3 months. He was out of school the entire time from Sept. to Nov. Once bussing began the bus decides to strike. In order for my son to go to school he would have to catch a bus at 5:30am and ride over the bridge. Once in Brooklyn he would have to take 2 trains. He is only 12 and is special needs. Needless to say he hasn't been to school since the strike. I am not able to come into work late nor leave early. How can they say they care for our kids when they are interfering in our children's education and safety? I think if you want job security you have to earn it. Nothing is guarenteed especially now. I also think that the drivers and matrons need to understand that at one time they were inexperienced as well. The city contracted with the bus company to provide a service and we expect no less. Their issue is affecting many people and it has to stop.
I think they should stop the bidding process ...to reslove this issue there a lot people being affected by this ...we all want to go back to work .....asap the only. Question is if our mayor says our Epp ..is illegal ...& he cant add it to new contracts ...so that means he cant remove it either ..correct ...
I am sick of "Job Security" being referred to as if it were something bad. There is nothing wrong with job security inasmuch as it attracts loyal and competent employees. Employees who don't measure up should be fired, but job security in and of itself is part of the American Dream as far as I'm concerned. Bloomberg runs the City the way he ran his corporation and it's known that he treated his employees like garbage.
It's sad to see these workers go out and protest in snow, rain and every weather conditions their not prostesting to get more money but to have job protections .... he's not saving money he doesn't know what it is to save money when he's never had to struggle for it.
I would switch jobs with a matron/bus driver in a heart beat. I'm a tax accountant and my job isn't garunteed and doesn't come with a cushy pension. These people that are on strike only work a few hours a day and are paid pretty well all things considered that some of them only drive 1 kid to school! These bus drivers/matrons don't deserve the EPP. If you do your job, and do your job well then you should have no problem finding work. Stop being so greedy!
ps please post this as Anonymous
thanks the CALL!
I would like to know the details of the job security clause
Why doesnt the Mayor fight for the common NYer as hard as he did for a third term that was illegal
For those people who say that we should not have the privelage for job protection they need to understand these bids happen every several years and company lose contract that means without the epp we need to start again with the new company that won the bid its like starting over again,, without epp is putting kids in critical situation you would have people with no experience driving a school bus and with the low pay no one will take the job seriously with the epp you have a career as a worker and be a profesional behind the wheel, that's why in the school bus industry you need epp because of company losing bids, if bids was not a concern than you don't need the epp.
NYC school bus drivers provide an essential service to the city. Being the son of a school bus driver I can't help but notice how much this strike has affected my father. He has given 26 years of his life to provide for our family, leaving in the early hours of the morning and coming home late at night to ensure that children get to and from school safely. Now the thought of losing his job in June so abruptly without benefits or a retirement plan has put a noticeable strain on our family. All he knows how to do is drive and the prospect of looking for another job in this economy is daunting. All the union is asking for is job protection and the ability of the drivers to follow the work where ever it goes. How could that possibly be an overwhelming request? These protections are guaranteed to any and all city workers that provide essential services. Is the mayor insinuating that bus drivers don't provide an essential service? He is going after the bus drivers because he saw it as an easy budget cut that would only affect the hard workers that keep this city running.
Sal from College Point
The EPP does not say you can't be fired! but it allows youn to follow the work should the company loose the work during a bid. the city says that this is between the union and the companies, if that is so why when there is a problem that the company is not the one to give the driver or matron a hearing? why is it that you have to go to the board of education for a hearing and could be fired by the board.yes they can fired you like they do. they charge you for violations such as not having on a tie, having the wrong color shoe on and etc. tell Bloomberg dont fool the public.
I don't understand why the Mayor careless about ours children . why he choose save over safety
8000 bus drivers times 40000 per year 500 thousand 65000 per bus to buy times 8000
what job can u get after a bus driver the system stinks
The Mayor is out of control.
these bus drivers need to be ashamed of themselves, because nothing is guaranteed. our life is not guaranteed. your should be glad to even have a job, your are not thanking god for the job your have. your could have went about it a different way. these kids with classic autism can not ride the city bus, due to the fact that they pull people hair,grab their food, fall out on the bus, where as the parent has to take 15 or 20 minutes to get them off. what needs to happen is let all the kids go to the mayors house for one day. when these specials needs kids get through eating him out of a house and, home and touching
every thing, trust me he will hurry up an get those buses rolling.
As the wife of a school bus driver, I think that the bids should be put to a halt. Yes we are all concerned about the children, parents but what happens to the workers (drivers and matrons)? Does it not matter to anyone the struggles that we also have to provide for our families? The bills we have to pay? The pay cut that they will be facing once these bids are approved? The drivers and matrons deserve the respect they gave to these children and parents by making sure these children were safe while in their care. The mayor and chancellor need to realize that these workers work very hard everyday, they are not garbage!!!!!
The Mayor doesn't seem to care about how this affects kids and parents. There is barely any coverage on this situation and it's appalling, given the importance of the issue at hand. The media seems to cover ridiculous/unimportant stories ! The only point made is how much is saved even though parents are being reimbursed. Not every parent will send their children on a subway or city bus alone and if parents accompany the students, their inconvenience and stress level isn't even addressed. Parents are spending hous chaperoning their kids to school. Who cares if we're being reimbursed?! The Mayor should pretend to care about the kids and their parents and how this has disrupted their lives. It is clearly about the money, but they-Mayor's office and the media need to do a better job addressing this issue! It simply is not fair!
I am a parent with two kids who attend separate schools. My son is a special needs child and has been taking the bus for two years. Right now he has to stay home because I have no other way of getting him to school. I took time off from work for two weeks (I didn't get paid for that time off) and since I have to clothe and feed them I had to go back to work.
I totally understand that the strikers feel that they are protecting their job security. After all, that's what unions are for, right? However, these people fail to realize that this is not 30 years ago. In this day and age there is no job security. I was laid off from my job in 2009 and there were people who were on the job for 20 + years and regardless of the length of service, we all lost our jobs anyway. My point is that times have changed. These unions need to upgrade their business practices to change with the current times as well!
These union members are choosing not to work while there are millions who are out of work through no fault of their own and are still struggling to find work. You have jobs. Get back to them because in the end, you'll strike, lose pay and benefits and lose your jobs anyway. In the meanwhile hundreds of thousands of kids and families will have suffered... And for what?
I'm equally disgusted with the Mayor as he is totally out of touch with the lifestyles of the 99%. He has no clue what it means to choose between feeding your child and sending him to school. Not every one can just stay home and chauffeur their kids around. It's been a very difficult decision for me to choose between my job and my son's education. In the end, it's the parents and children like me and my kids who are suffering the most.
This will be the beginning of union busting by the Mayor, after all that is his goal. Not Mr. Walcock he is just a puppet, he couldn't think for himself if his life dependent on it. And if it is allowed to happen, all the unions that just stood by and watched, well they will be crying to deaf ears when they get targeted. And they will, it's a macho thing for little old Mayor.
My husband is a school bus driver for 20 years and a great one at that! All the kids always loved him and the parents always said he was the best driver they ever had. That is quite the compliment to someone who is entrusted with someone else's kids. My husband has earned his stripes and now he hasn't had a paycheck in four weeks and have no health insurance. For what?? Everyone is against us. It feels like the union, bus company threats to rip to exiting epps away and most importantly he's still on strike accomplishing nothing. The lie abt not bing able to put epps in is a lie and if the mayor and his puppets keep repeating it maybe they think it will somehow come true. The court ruling only dealt with pre k. Totally separate thing. The data from Friday has shown the costs are high for good reason. Special needs busing. That's important!! General Ed busing is the same as every place else so let's end the strike and keep these great drivers where they belong! We also have an autistic son and see both sides of this. The mayor doesn't want to be wrong this was handled wrong nice day 1 by all parties involved.