NYC bracing for possible school bus strike

bus strike
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When school resumes in just over a week, over half of the city’s school bus drivers and attendants could go on strike. On Monday, Mayor Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks released specifics on contingency measures in case this happens.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, which voted this summer to allow a strike if they do not reach an agreement, and the city-contracted bus firms are currently in negotiations. At least 80,000 kids would be impacted by such a decision.

In the event that students are unable to go to school, city officials have prepared backup plans, such as emergency MetroCards, refunds for other forms of transportation, and, in certain situations, free ridesharing.

Our biggest concern, according to Adam, is making sure students can continue to attend class and learn every day. He said that the city has a strategy in place to help ensure that parents will still be able to transport their children to school with little disruption even if a strike by school bus drivers does take place this autumn.

To put things in perspective, working families in New York City shouldn’t have to stress about getting their kids to school every day, nor should they have to. Our government is here to ensure that our kids’ educations are uninterrupted.

Adams advised the parties to continue negotiating until a settlement was reached.

According to the city, the possible strike might have a disproportionately negative impact on some students more than others and could disrupt 4,400 routes throughout all five boroughs.

According to data, there are about 25,000 special education students traveling on certain routes. Despite age restrictions, families without a permanent address, including many migrant children, are also eligible for busing.

According to Banks, this labor disagreement will have a significant impact on some of the city’s most at-risk student groups and their families. The city has constantly shown good faith in its talks with union partners like the UFT and DC37, he continued. with bus companies and their employees, while anticipating and hoping for a similar constructive approach.

In a statement earlier this month, ATU President Tomas Fret cited a long-standing scarcity of school bus drivers who “simply cannot make ends meet.”

According to Fret, the Union must create a contract for its members so that they can support their families. And when they voted this past June to authorize a strike, the message from them was quite clear after months of negotiations without solutions from the businesses that satisfy members’ requirements.

Possible contract talks to forestall the bus strike

Before the start of the academic year on September 7, Fret declared that she was “ready and willing” to enter into contract talks.

All afflicted families are eligible to receive Emergency MetroCards, which are usable on MTA buses, subways, and trains with the exception of Express Bus service. The cards cover a total of four transfers and travels every day, from 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

A chosen set of families may be compensated for substitutes like taxis and their personal vehicles. Others will be able to rideshare if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, which campaigners fear may be challenging for families with working parents.

According to city authorities, by enabling parents to use the service to be driven to work and picked up there in the afternoon, the city is attempting to lessen that load.

The families that will be included in such groups—which include asylum seekers, according to schools spokesperson Nathaniel Styer—were not immediately clear.

Before an official news statement was issued, advocates expressed their concerns about the plans over the weekend. Parents to Improve School Transportation, or “PIST,” spearheaded an online petition that expressed concerns about the lack of rideshare education and warned that the daily use of MetroCards, as opposed to weekly or monthly passes, will result in a time-consuming reimbursement process, while families accrue the costs.

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The advocates suggested the city give a one-time grant to schools for families that cannot afford transportation in addition to fixing those concerns and boosting MTA bus service frequency.