Skip to main content

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
New York City school bus drivers who are members of the Amalgamated Transit Union plan to go on strike Wednesday, objecting to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to award some school bus routes to the "lowest responsible bidder." That would potentially put many longtime bus drivers and matrons out of work when their contracts expire, to be replaced by cheapest workers the new bus companies could hire while still being considered "responsible."

Bloomberg insists that he cannot build employment protections into the bus contracts due to a court decision, but The Ed Show's Ned Resnikoff reports that "while there's some truth to Mayor Bloomberg’s argument, according to New York labor lawyer Stuart Lichten":

It’s just not the whole truth.

“If [city officials] are saying that they can’t keep the exact same provision, they’re probably right,” said Lichten. “But if they’re saying they can’t work to make sure these employees are protected, with just a little bit of imagination, I think they’re wrong.”

According to the ruling, said Lichten, “any procedure having an anti-competitive effect on the bidding process can only be justified on the basis of saving the public money, or causing the contract to be performed without disruption.” While EPPs might not meet that standard, other rules which protect current bus drivers might.

For example, “they could require that the bus drivers have certain amounts of experience or certain qualifications, like maybe licenses.” Such rules, said Lichten, could be justified “on the grounds that maybe it doesn’t lower costs, but it certainly prevents disruption of service.”

Of course, Bloomberg doesn't want to protect good jobs for people who aren't already rich, and he certainly doesn't want to protect good jobs in education. He's shown that time and time again.

Teamsters working for the New York Department of Education will not be striking, but they will be honoring picket lines. Bloomberg is the "one party responsible for the possible job action by unionized bus drivers represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union," according to Danny Gatto, president of Teamsters Local 854:

For weeks now, City Hall has refused to discuss the job-killing provisions they are insisting on as part of new contracts with bus contractors. It’s almost as if City Hall wants this strike to happen for some perverse reason. [...] The best way to avoid a job action is for all sides to negotiate face to face, but City Hall would rather throw the entire system into disarray than sit at a table with the ATU. The workers deserve better, the parents deserve better and the children deserve better.
Strikes—especially strikes with potential for widespread disruption—are often averted at the last minute, but in this case, the drivers appear ready to strike for their job security and the mayor appears to think a strike is worth the chance to weaken job security and drive down wages for school bus drivers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:28 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site