Parents of students with special needs are still feeling burned by this year’s bus strike, and by everyday issues related to school bus service. They got a chance Thursday night to raise questions on bus service and the rollout of special education reform to the schools chancellor.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has argued that removing employee protections from school bus contracts will save money. On Tuesday, the education department got its first look at the evidence when it opened bids from 67 companies, almost half of which are new to the city and don’t have union workers.
The school bus dispute is heading to court. Three of the bus companies are seeking to immediately do away with the union’s employee protections in all bus contracts, not just the batch currently open for bids.
Despite the city’s efforts to help families of disabled students during the school bus strike, some parents say the process is complicated and they are struggling with the disruption.
The regional head of the National Labor Relations Board said he expects to issue a ruling on the bus companies’ request to stop the strike this week, or next week at the latest.
The war between City Hall and union representing school bus workers has been a long time coming. For decades, the industry has been tarnished by scandals and by concerns about runaway costs.
With thousands of school bus drivers on strike, families are making patchwork arrangements to get their children to and from school. SchoolBook tagged along with one mother and son who had to change up their routine.
The bus strike presents a challenge in a mayoral election year. Democrats, who are closely aligned with labor, can’t afford to look unsympathetic to families whose children are stranded by the strike. Here’s a round-up of what the presumed and declared Democratic and Republican candidates are saying.
About half of the city’s 7,700 yellow bus routes were not operating on this wet Wednesday morning, as bus drivers and escorts took to the picket lines. The union called on City Hall to ensure job security for its members but the mayor said the issue is not open for negotiation.
Although many parents support the drivers’ concerns about job security, a yellow bus strike will throw finely honed schedules into chaos.
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