Skip to main content

A school bus.
New York City school bus drivers and matrons are on strike for the first time in more than 30 years, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg seeks to bid bus routes to the "lowest responsible bidder," endangering the workers' average earnings of about $35,000 a year and potentially putting less experienced drivers into school buses.

Bloomberg insists that his hands are tied and a court ruling prevents him from including the worker protections in a bidding process, but not all legal experts agree that Bloomberg's hands are quite as tied as he'd have us believe. Since Bloomberg rarely misses a chance to screw with workers in the city's school system and is clearly having a ball preaching austerity doctrine for special needs students and their bus drivers, though, figuring out what protections could legally be included in the bidding does not make the priority list.

Instead, it's parents who, like the bus drivers and matrons, are struggling to get by in an outrageously expensive city, who are now forced to give up income to get their kids safely to school:

Yissete Pallero, 27, a mother who lives in Downtown Brooklyn, also said the strike was costing her money.

On Wednesday, Ms. Pallero hustled to drop her oldest son, Brian Taveris, 11, who typically rides the bus, at his school in Williamsburg, before heading to work as a home attendant.

She will be at least 25 minutes late, she said, standing outside her white sedan in the rain.

“I’m clocking in late,” Ms. Pallero said.

She makes $11 an hour, so every minute matters to her. But she added, “I’m more fortunate than the parents who live farther” from school.

Bus matrons, by the way, have a starting salary of $11 an hour. That's who the brunt of this entire episode will fall on, striking workers or parents of students, making similar amounts of money and facing similar struggles. Nobody billionaire Michael Bloomberg knows, in other words, just people he'll try to pit against each other in the plutocrat's divide and conquer.

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