January 29, 2013, UPDATE: New York school bus drivers remain on strike in a fight to protect child safety and living wages. A meeting between Amalgamated Transit Union 1181 and bus company owners on Monday resulted in little progress toward ending the strike of 8,000 bus drivers and matrons that began on Jan. 16.
The meeting at the Mayor’s mansion was brokered by New York Mayor Bloomberg, although he did not attend or send a representative.
The Mayor and City Department of Education maintain that their hands are tied by a 2011 State Court of Appeals decision ruling that said provisions in bus contracts that protect bus workers pay, benefits and seniority in the case of their company losing routes are “anti-competitive”.
Bus workers say you can’t put a price on child safety and that the Employee Protection Provisions ensure that experienced drivers don’t get kicked to the curb by nonunion companies looking to cut costs at the expense of child safety.
Close to 1,000 NYC school bus drivers and matrons are members of Teamsters Local 854. They are prevented from striking because of no-strike clauses in their own contracts. But Local 854 Teamsters, including a committee of TDU members, support the strike, visit picket lines and are fighting alongside ATU members to defend the employment protections.
Some ATU 1181-represented companies are already hiring scabs.
Click here to read a New York Times article on the background of the strike, the NYC school bus workers, and the work drivers and matrons do.
Call Mayor Bloomberg at 1-888-833-7428 and tell him you support the strike and the Employee Protection Provisions.