The rumored New York City bus strike, which School Commissioner Dennis Walcott referred to as "irresponsible and disrespectful," will most likely start Wednesday morning. Negotiations are continuing and union representatives say they're "optimistic," but the threat is still very real.
During a press conference, Mayor Bloomberg stated that the city had instructed the union "in unequivocal terms not to strike." The city of New York wants to renegotiate contracts with private bus companies in an effort to save cash, but the union is angry at the absence of a certain level of employee protection in the contracts.
Bloomberg says that the court has labeled these protections illegal. The big issue is how the over 150,000 children who rely on the buses to transport them to school will get there. The city has a plan that involves reimbursed rides and MetroCards, and below you'll find the Bloomberg's official statement:
With its regrettable decision to strike, the union is abandoning 152,000 students and their families who rely on school bus service each day. As Chancellor Walcott and I have said, the City will take all steps available to ensure that those who are impacted have the support they need, and we are now activating the protocols we put in place in the event of a strike. Let me be clear: the union’s decision to strike has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with job protections that the City legally cannot include in its bus contracts. We hope that the union will reconsider its irresponsible and misguided decision to jeopardize our students’ education.