NYC prepares for possible school bus driver’s strike this week - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

NYC prepares for possible school bus driver’s strike this week

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the union representing school bus drivers plan to issue updates about a strike threat that could affect about 150,000 students.

Bloomberg and the Local 1181 scheduled separate news conferences on Monday afternoon.

School bus drivers are threatening to walk off the job by mid-week.  

Bloomberg said Sunday that the city bid out new contracts for the bus routes to try to save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

The drivers' union wants job protections the mayor says the city cannot legally provide.

If there's a strike, the city has contingency plans to get children to school.

Flyers being passed out may be an indication it seems that the strike is upon us. There is a list of the striking do's and don'ts going around to union members.  

When this strike does happen the city says it does have a contingency plan in place. 

Buses are parked in their usual spot for now. But it's quite possible they could also remain parked here during usual school commute time this week when Local 1181 - one of the bus drivers' unions strikes. 

"This is a strike against our children. It is illegal as far as what they're asking us to do and they are hurting our most vulnerable children and it is totally unacceptable." 

The union has an issue with the city re-bidding on their contract to try and save money without job guarantees for current drivers. In his weekly radio address Mayor Bloomberg spoke out about the Union's demands. 

"The school bus driver's union is demanding that new contracts include job protections the city is not legally allowed to provide. So there's nothing the city can do to meet the union's demands," said Bloomberg. 

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says about 152,000 kids are bussed to school in New York City including 54,000 with disabilities. 

"Our students need to be in school especially after Hurricane Sandy which closed schools for a week or more in some cases." 

He says in case of a strike the NYPD will provide additional school crossing guards and transit officers. 

Temporary metro cards will be given to students available through the school's office

  • K-12 parents can request an additional metro card to escort their child with special needs.
  • Parents who must now drive the children will be reimbursed at a rate of 55 cents per mile
  • If you take a taxi or car you will be reimbursed after completing a form
  • Late students will be excused up to 2 hours and those who can't make it at all will be marked absent with explanation code.

If you have any questions about those contingency plans you can call 311. As for the transit union they have no comment. They are however supposed to give the city 24-hour's notice before striking and that has not come yet.

For more information on visit the DOE website.

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