03212013 School bus companies gone wild

Saturday, March 30, 2013 6:17:00 PM
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Result of random hiring during the strike where the owner (Joe Fazio) went out of his way to keep experienced union matrons from returning to their jobs:

Sleeping child left on a school bus! The child’s mother said that the driver and the matron were both new and both started after the school bus strike. She said that she felt they weren't trained enough. http://www.ny1.com/content/education/178945/ny1-exclusive--bus-driver--matron-arrested-after-allegedly-leaving-student-sleeping-on-manhattan-bus


Please read the article at this link to get information on pay and benefit cuts that companies are imposing on school bus workers RIGHT NOW.
Bear in mind, the contracts have not expired yet (1/7 will expire in June), and the new low bids are not awarded yet.
At the moment, these companies are being paid as much as ever because their contracts were signed 5 or 4 or 3 years ago.
If they will violate contracts they signed with their employees, what else will they violate? 


As parents, we hope that these abuses will not bring about another strike in the 2012-13 school year, or a series of strikes every time the companies commit unfair labor practices.
We hope for--and will fight to attain--constructive improvements and investments in proper school busing, not slicing and dicing that destroys it.

The DOE and Bloomberg are not blameless, since they placed the emphasis on requesting low bids in the first place.
Taking care of our children is not work that should be set up on a part time or 'casual' basis but that is the logical conclusion of this trend. 
Stability for our kids depends in part on security and benefits that will keep drivers and matrons invested in their jobs.

Today a 20-year driver was telling PIST all about the bus drills that she reminds the school to hold with her by the due dates.
We don't know if the March/April drill will happen, now that she is locked out of returning to her job!  The majority of children on that route can not verbalize events to their parents.
If there are different drivers and matrons every week, who will even be able to keep track of whether drills were held?
The school administration didn't even know there was a replacement driver until they called the original driver when parents complained that their children were not home yet. 

The shuffling that is known to be occurring within the companies who locked people out, also seems to be trickling out to other companies--even ones that were not on strike in January.
We need to keep a flow of information and documentation among bus parents, bus workers, and sincere educators to pinpoint the problems and demand solutions collectively.
Please do not hesitate to tell us about anything that seems unusual.

Margaret did outreach at two D75 schools this week.
Milagros and Sharlene were at a mayoral candidate forum in Washington Heights tonight,
letting them know that there is a crisis to be addressed RIGHT NOW, not just after the election and inauguration.

We understand
holiday obligations, but:
*On Sunday 3/24 we have a chance to haunt the candidates again at the postal rally (see attached or clupjs.com). 
Please join the PIST delegation as early as you can.
**On Tuesday 3/26 PIST has an organizers' meeting at 3:00 p.m. in Manhattan, 147 West 24 St, on the second floor. 
Please RSVP, bring your ideas & energy.  Childcare has NOT been arranged but the space can probably accommodate a few more children.
It is an elevator building. 

For updates check the recordings at "PIST hotline" 347-504-3310

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