Saturday, November 19, 2011

Response from Sam Pirozzolo to Mayor's Bus Strike Warnings

Sam Pirozzolo is a long time parent leader and member of Staten Island's CEC 31. He posted the statement below on his Facebook account this morning:

Reprehensible Mayoral Behavior

I would like to congratulate Mayor Michael Bloomberg for hitting a new low in the city’s school bus policies. After holding a press conference Friday afternoon, approximately 150,000 notices, phone calls and a press release filled with allegations of illegalities and strike threats were sent to parents trying to instill fear throughout the city that a school bus strike was imminent. The mayor has deceived NYC public school parents yet again.

This is what the mayor didn’t tell parents. Next year the contract with the companies that deal with Pre-K, K and special education expires. The union has asked the administration to put some assurances on the table that they will work with them to ensure the bus companies maintain the same type of protections for drivers they have always supported. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg has shown no desire to work with Local 1181 and he has gone into full attack mode as a pre-emptive attempt to thwart legitimate and lawful negotiations. I have talked with union officials who have told me that they never threatened to strike. Mayor Bloomberg is jumping the gun and intentionally causing parents to believe a school bus strike is imminent. The mayor didn’t tell parents that he held Friday’s press conference before he even put out the bid to other bus companies.

It seems that Mayor Bloomberg would rather allow non-union, untrained bus drivers to drive our most vulnerable children to and from school. The Mayor did not tell parents that both the Senate and Assembly passed legislation that he helped write to protect the seniority of qualified bus drivers. The mayor did not tell parents that he wrote a letter to the governor asking him NOT to sign his own bill into law. (

Why would the mayor do this? In my opinion, it’s all about stealing money from the hard working citizens of NYC. I would suggest that if Mayor Bloomberg wanted to save money, I mean a lot of money; he should keep his hands off the backs and out of the pockets of the hard working, struggling middle class. Instead, he should put his hands into the pockets of his own poorly run city agencies like the Department of Education. Mayor Bloomberg would be able to save hundreds of millions if not more than a billion dollars with a few sound cuts. He could easily reduce the numbers of lawyers on the DoE payroll. Lawyers do not educate children. He could save tons of money if he would fire some of the countless consultants. Maybe he could eliminate some of the no bid and exploding contracts that plague our system and steal money from our classrooms. Yes the mayor has plenty of places he could save money yet he chooses to attack and intimidate the citizens of NYC with bogus tales of an imminent school bus strike.

What we are witnessing is the failure of a bought and paid for third term in office. Another concern I have is that the mayor is acting like a skilled magician. Is he distracting our attention away from what must really be going on? NYC is in for continued difficult times; deception like this is not what we need. It is behavior like this that leads to protests like OWS. I think the mayor’s riot helmet may be on too tight.

Sam Pirozzolo

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