The union representing New York City school bus drivers announced Monday that its members will go on strike, effective Wednesday morning.
The strike by Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union will disrupt transportation for about 152,000 students.
“While we remain optimistic that we can reach an agreement, we are here today to announce that local 1181 will strike effective Wednesday morning,” said union president Michael Cordiello. “It is action we must take.”
Earlier, before the official announcement of the strike, Bloomberg called the action “unfair” to both students and families, adding that such a move would be “totally misguided.”
“The New York State Court Of Appeals ruled that the city could not legally include the job protection provision the union is demanding. This provision is the only reason the union is calling a strike. They will pretend it is about safety. The fact is these contracts include the exact same safety provisions as the current contracts,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor also said a strike would “jeopardize” both the “education and safety of students.”
The city wants to cut transportation costs and has put bus contracts with private bus companies up for bid.
The union is decrying the lack of employee protections, saying current drivers could suddenly lose their jobs once their contracts are up in June.
“What the union is asking the city to do is illegal,” Walcott said. On Sunday, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced contingency measures.
Parents say they’re anxious and upset, but are making alternate plans.
“We have a group of parents who are from more or less the same neighborhood. The kids ride the bus together so we are probably just going to take them one by one,” said parent Andrea Tambalotti.
Alternate provisions that have been put in place by the city include free MetroCards for students and reimbursements for taxis for those students who can’t take mass transit.
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