The specter of a strike is an interesting turn of events for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. For years, his administration had fought alongside the union to keep the seniority-based protections in the contracts, in part because removing them could have prompted the union to strike. In July, however, the city made an about-face, asking Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to veto a bill it had helped develop that would have extended the protections to bus contracts for preschool students who receive special education services.
Mr. Cuomo did just that in September, citing a decision by the State Court of Appeals that including such protections drives up cost and drives away competition. (The protections are part of the contracts, which expire in December 2012, that govern the transportation of about 138,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.)
In a news conference at City Hall on Friday, Mr. Bloomberg characterized a possible strike as “illegal” and the union’s behavior as “outrageous” based on the court ruling.
The Chancellor's letter home is painting a picture of rogue workers trying to deny our kids a ride to school for no good reason, but our experience has been that it is the DOE's own Office of Pupil Transportation which puts both the children/families and the drivers/escorts in a bad situation every year with route cuts, unnecessarily long rides, and other abuses.
Thanks, Sara Catalinotto, firstname.lastname@example.org