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I don't see the purpose of today's meeting if there are no other talks scheduled. Both sides met, but they feel the Mayor needs to come to the table before anything can be resolved. So tomorrow, school bus companies and union workers go back to what they've been doing the past eight days...not talking. Was this all for show?
I can see the Mayor not physically sitting down with the companies and union leaders, but a representative from the Bloomberg administration should be a part of the negotiations. This strike has to come to an end.
On the eighth day of the City school bus strike, bus companies and union leaders met at Grace Mansion in effort to resolve the walkout. Mayor Bloomberg organized the meeting last week, but said no City representatives would be in attendance. Bloomberg stressed the issue is between the bus companies and their employees. But, since it is the City that is taking seniority job protections out of future contracts for bus drivers and matrons, both the union and the bus companies say they need to Mayor to come to the table before a solution can be reached.
Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 walked off the job on January 16, after learning about the City’s plan to put bus contracts out to bid in order to rein in costs. Union members insist they will strike until the City puts a job security clause back into the contract. The Bloomberg administration has argued including such a clause would be illegal based on a 2009 court decision. The union says that decision does not apply to the current situation.
Meanwhile, as the strike drags into its third week, the parents of more than 100 thousand students continue to struggle to get their children to school. As of this morning, the Department of Education says about 2,700 of 7,700 bus routes were running. Have you been affected?
Do you think Mayor Bloomberg needs to join the negotiations? Are you hopeful the bus strike will be resolved soon? Should the most experienced bus drivers and matrons receive the job protections they want?
Send your thoughts using the e-mail link above.
NO. REPEAT NO. THE MAYOR IS SUFFERING A BAD CASE OF SENIOR MOMENTS GONE WILD! INTERVENTION IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY.
THE MAYOR, IF HE HAD ANY INPUT AS IT RELATES TO JOB SECURITY, HE SHOULD HAVE MADE THIS KNOWN, PRIOR TO THE STRIKE. IF THE MAYOR DOES JOIN THE DISCUSSIONS, THEN HE MIGHT WANT TO BRING HIS CHECKBOOK, AND BE READY TO RIGHT THE SHIP FOR THE CHILDREN AND THE BUS EMPLOYEES. FURTHER, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LEFT-OVER FUNDS FROM THE CAMPAIGNS? WHY HAVE THE CANDIDATES NOT DONATED THOSE FUNDS WITH THE RED CROSS, OR SOME OTHER NON-PROFIT TO DISPENSE AS NEEDED, GIVEN WE ARE STILL IN A CRISIS MODE FROM HURRICANE SANDY? ALL THIS IS A WIN..WIN..SINCE ANY DONATIONS/CONTRIBUTIONS TO NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE. IN ADDITION, IF THERE IS NO AGREEMENT REACHED BY TOMORROW, THEN SERIOUS CONSIDERATIONS HAVE TO BE GIVEN IN CALLING UP THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. YES, THIS GROUP HAS A GROUP OF MEDICS, TEACHERS, CONSTRUCTION, SAFETY, GUN CONTROL, YOU NAME IT THEY HAVE IT. AND WE WILL NOT HAVE TO SPEND A DIME, AND A CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION CAN BE IN PLACE AS SOON AS TOMORROW.
PARENTS, BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS AND BE VERY CAREFUL WITH YOUR CHILDREN TRAVELING WITH OTHERWISE UNSAFE CONDITIONS. THE CORPS WILL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE ALL THE SERVICES THAT ARE IN NEED. SO GO FOR IT!
FURTHERMORE, THE MAYOR HAS TO TAKE A MOMENT AND REIN HIMSELF IN! HE IS STILL SUFFERING FROM WHAT I CALL, 'HURRICANE SANDY SYNDROME'. THIS MALADY MAY WEAR ITSELF OUT, ONLY IF THE MAYOR CAN TAKE HIS TIME AND FOCUS ON HIS REAL PRIORITIES. OF WHICH THE CHILDREN ARE NOT A PART OF.
THERE ARE RESOURCES AND FUNDS AVAILABLE FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE OUTSTANDING FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST SOME OF THE FIRMS, AS IN, THE CONTRACTOR FROM HELL, AKA HALI- BURTON. THIS WAS MISSIONARY DICK CHENEY'S FORMER EMPLOYER PRIOR TO HIS SEAT IN THE VICE PRESINDENT'S CHAIR. WHAT A WASTE? NOW THAT CHENEY IS OUT OF OFFICE, WE STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE RAMIFICATIONS OF HIS TENURE WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATIONS. THE FINES ALONE FROM BP OIL, AND PB OIL CONTRACTOR, AND HALI-BURTON, SUBCONTRACTORS. SEEMS TO BVE DEVELOPING A EASY WAY IN AND OUT OF DOING BUSINESS WITH THE USA GOVERNMENT. AND THE DISTRIBUTIONS OF THOSE FUNDS CAN BE DIRECTLY TARGETED BY THE NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE FUNDS FROM THESE MISCREANTS PARTICIPANTS. INASMUCH AS THE COUNTRY WOULD HAVE BENEFITTED FROM THE SUPPORT, AND NOW, THE COUNTRY CAN PARTICIPATE IN DOLING OUT THE FUNDS ON AN EQUAL BASIS.
I WANT YOU TO KNOW, THAT IF THE COUNTRY DOES NOT DEMAND RETURN OF THOSE FRAUDULENT CLAIMS, WE WILL CONTINUE TO LOSE CREDITABILITY WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND OUR JOINT VENTURES WITH ANY COUNTRY THAT WE ARE CURRENTLY FUNDING.
Mayor Bloomberg needs to check into Bellevue. Forever.
Port Richmond, SI
The mayor will not join in the conversations because he has already made his decision and as usual it's his way or no way at all.
We are all sick and tired of him.
SO MUCH FOR A THIRD TERM!!!!!!!!
They are not asking for money.
The Mayor has to end the school bus strike. He provoked it by excluding the EPP provision in the new contracts. It can not be ended without him. He knows that the EPP is legal, but is using its exclusion as a bargaining weapon. He has caused pain and suffering needlessly to thousands of New Yorkers. He should be ashamed of himself.
Mayor Bloomberg started this mess now he should fix it. He is not thinking about anything but himself that he has to look strong I don't know for who. I just know everyone but him is suffering really not nice;(.
The mayor should be a part of this meeting, he was the one that initiated this and he needs too sit down with the bus company, owners and solve this once and for all, our family's are hurting, my husband is part of this strike he's a bus driver and all they are asking is to keep the EPP protection on their contracts,he wants to return work, everyone does! Please let this end once and for all!
I think the mayor should be Part of the talks he's taking the easy way out by shifting everything to the bus companies. You get what u pay for that's why the way it's been has worked for so long. But at the same time the union did not go about this the right way either bcz they took it upon themselves to call a strike without giving its union members who have been paying union dues for 20 years a chance to vote on whether or not THEY wanted to strike. That's not fair. In this tough economy no one wanted this and now the drivers matrons mechanics are not getting paid aside from 30 a day strike pay which is a joke and as of Thursday they will lose their medical benefits!! They have bills and families to support need coverage and an income! For some this is all they have and they didn't get a say. The union president, vice president and delegates are all getting their salaries and benefits and this all for one crap seems like bs to me. What they should have done is wait until Bloomberg was out of office and then revisit this since the contracts are valid for 2 more years. I hope someone reads this bcz this issue seems very one sided in the media to me. Bloomberg is just terrible he doesn't care and its so sad. My family is devastated by this. We live paycheck to paycheck and its not right they didn't even get a vote or a say just orders that they are on strike.
I would like to say I am hopeful that the strike will end soon but I feel very betrayed by our mayor and the union. I feel like the drivers were hung out to dry to lose everything. I hope the city realizes that these kids deserve a trusted experienced bus driver and matron and are not are not easily replaced. 99 out of 100 union members do not want this and just want to go back to work!
There are no winners in a school bus strike. The middle/lower income people who drive and who monitor on these buses will never replace their lost income. It hurts not only us but the office personnel who were laid off last week. The mechanics, employers, parents and especially the children are all negatively affected.
One of the 6 year old kids that I transport, asked me what a strike was.
We love our kids. We are dedicated people. Some routes have been serviced by the same driver for 20+ years. The parents trust in us. These are our kids the moment they step on our bus until we safely drop them off.
When I was looking for a job back in 1982, I had a small child and wanted a career where I could be off when my son was off and that offered a decent salary with benefits. I was told the pluses and negatives of the job of school bus driver and decided to sacrifice lower salary for more time available to be with my child. I knew that as I accrued more seniority, I would get more benefits. I did not consider this job choice to be a filler job like a cashier or fast food worker.
I became one the the instructors at the bus company and have trained hundreds of people to drive buses. I am also a State certified DMV article 19A examiner and SBDI who must test and train the drivers and attendants on a regular basis. It is a lot of work but is rewarding.
If this Mayor has his way, this job will become something people want as temporary until they get something better. The workers become transient, not permanent. It would no longer be a dignified career choice and will attract low talent, low wage earners, a 2nd rate job. Don't you think the employers want their companies to last? Why has Amboy Bus/Atlantic Express been in business and grown for so many years. Dedicated, safe, efficient workers who feel that they are part of a family within the company. This Mayor would destroy the morale of school bus employees. We are part of the social infrastructure of NYC. We are important and deserve to feel secure and settled in our career.
We have a huge responsibility to the parents and children. It is not easy, in the city of New York, to drive through Nor'easters, blizzards, floods, hurricanes, tornados, el Nino, blackouts and sheets of ice not to mention the TRAFFIC. Me and all the dedicated workers got our kids to school and home SAFELY! These parents rely on us. We love our jobs and our kids.
This mayor does not have a clue! Save money elsewhere.
How about making some changes in the way OPT (Office of Pupil Transportation) maps out these routes? Let more kids walk. Combine some routes.
Where is the money coming from for the "free" Metro cards and travel reimbursements? Oh, I guess it's my tax money...
How about those "rubber rooms" where all that taxpayer money is wasted? How about the compulsive spenders in our government, of which he is one. Or the people that suck off the taxpayers with their never ending unemployment (for which I will have to file). Welfare & social security disability for able bodied people that are a constant drain on our economy.
We are WORKERS! We get up at 4 AM or earlier every morning in order to be on time. It is 30+ years and I am still not used to getting up and going so early.
DEDICATION, EXPERIENCE, TRAINING, COMPASSION
Remember, you get what you pay for.
Council Member Crowley marched with us last week. She said that if the Mayor wants experienced, skilled drivers, he has to be willing to pay for them. She said that the city's first priority must be keeping our school children safe and that begins and ends with experienced bus drivers and matrons. She also said that in this contract dispute, the city is more concerned with saving money than protecting our children.
You ask what you can do to help. Convince the Mayor to get the school buses running while this dispute is being resolved and help him realize that a decent contract is important to all of us and that without some sort of employee protection, or some method of stabilizing seniority we become a group of disgruntled employees.
school bus driver 31 years on the job
I think the mayor should mind his business and leave things alone. He started this mess and is walking away and looking for everyone else to resolve it. He belongs at the table! I think the drivers and matrons should have job security as they have had for the past 34 years!!! The mayor should look elsewhere to save. These people are hard working middle class people trying to support families. He is pushing them into the welfare system!
I am a white collar worker at a large company. I'm the most experienced person in my department. It means nothing. I have no job protection. I could walk in any day and be laid off. Why should it be different for bus drivers?
Mayor bloomberg don't care about the kids,, he just cares about his money.. Is not fare for a driver to be on top pay to go back to his starting salary at $14.90.is just not fear.
I am a parent of a special needs child, who is wheelchair bound. Although I understand the situation of the bus drivers this is affecting the most vulnerable of children. My child has been forced to stay home for three weeks now, & is being deprived of his education & desperately needed related services such as physical, occupational and speech therapies. In this country this is ridiculous, that an agreement can't be met yet. They are not thinking of those kids with no voice. This needs to be resolved now.
Akisha from kew Gardens, NY
Most students will be on the bus for at least an hour every day. This is enough time for students to abuse each other due to untrained matrons. Also, for unqualified bus drivers and matrons to abuse children as well. Bloomy needs to rethink who is being left out.
it's all about union busting, union busting, union busting. The bus drivers, the teachers any union Bloomberg can sink his teeth into. and Cuomo has the same agenda, that's why he's not getting involved, look what he did to state workers, and what they both did to city workers, creating a new tier for pensions that significantly reduces benefits in the future.
These guys want to balance their budgets on the backs of ordinary working new yorkers, they want to pay everyone minimum wage and have them work part time with no benefits. Shame on both of them
meryl from manhattan
The mayor know that it will be wrong to put those new drivers on the road with out back ground check. Parents beware.
I am tired of hearing these bus drivers whining. Can someone please fire these people and employ people who want to work. My driver can't even speak English and can't communicate with me or my child. Don't tell me he is well trained. My life is a disaster. I am going to lose my job. In what world do people not work an keep their jobs?!?
I am a parent of a special needs my child who has been using the bus service to get too school for the past five years every morning she is happen to see the bus driver and Matron because they show a lot of loving care and interest in her needs. Now she wakes up and gives me a problem in going too school and says the want the bus driver and Matron to take me too school not you mommy... I feel the mayor should be at the bargaining table and leave the epp in the contact
These bus companies have a contract to deliver bus service. They are not providing it. Can't the city enter into new contracts with new companies that don't employ unionized drivers? Can't the city sue the the bus companies for breach of contract?
It is not fair to do this to lower middle class working New Yorkers. They do not make all that much money in the first place, so to jeopardize these poor working class bus drivers is a disgrace.
Yes I feel that the Mayor needs to be there to end the strike,He doesn't realize how many lives are being affected by his bad decision. These drivers and matrons have been trained for many years and they all are relying on the pensions that they are paying into from their own pockets to be able to plan for their old age. The children need special care and rely on the drivers and matrons who they feel safe with day in and day out. I feel that the mayor has had 3 terms which he shouldn't of had in the first place and he had no business forcing himself in charge if the Board of Education Dept has done nothing but ruin our children's education and schools. Sincerely Disgusted with the Mayor!!!
The bus drivers that we been having busing the kids for field trips have no knowledge how to get to areas that they need to go.
As a teachers assistant, I have experience telling them how to get to places so they are not qualified.
When the bus driver has taken my nephew to school they speed and kids complain. They pick them up late in the morning.
The drivers' and matrons' top salaries don't appear to, substantially, account for that cost per pupil figure. Where IS all that money going?
Heres a thought, get back the $321 million dollars of taxpayer money you gave the
Steinbrenners for the construction of Yankee Stadium if you want to cut cost.
Also a man that is worth 25 Billion dollars is stating the drivers are making ($34,000) too much money!!
This is nothing but Union Busting. Also Cuomo had a chance to stop this, but he vetoed the bill to include EPPs.
Atlantic Express bus driver/instructor 31 years
Absolutely the Mayor has to be there. He is the reason they are striking in the first place. The Mayor wants to reduce costs on the back of these workers who have made this a career. They do not make that much to begin with.
There has to be a way to reduce costs and leave the E P P in the contract. the Mayor can say all he wants that the city has nothing to do with these talks, but he knows very well that he holds the cards to these negotiations. The Mayor should Man Up and settle this in a reasonable way,satisfactory to ALL parties involved.
I think the Mayor is a coward quite honestly...You don't hijack a third term in office and then start calling what good, honest, hardworking men and women are trying to protect illegal. They want the best for themselves and their families. I guess these men and women going on food stamps, welfare and medicaid would suit the Mayor of this fine city better. He shouldn't even be in office in my eyes, I didn't vote for him...I see how much that matters. I would like to believe that having a voice does make a difference despite all of this. I'm being terribly inconvenienced yet I still stand with the workers, they deserve to be treated right...Bloomberg should be at these talks, not tuck tail, run then hide. Pull your pants up and face the situation...you started it!