These are the media we saw at today’s press conference about school bus contract bids: Channel 41, 47, Fox 5, ABC7, WCBS 880 AM, DNAInfo, World Journal. Please let us know if you find any coverage.
The lawyer for ATU 1181 responded to Bloomberg’s statements about the legality of dropping seniority protections. Apparently Bloomberg held a press conference on Friday, stating that his ‘hands are tied’ because the law does not require Employee Protection Provisions in all contracts. The lawyer reminded us that a law requiring EPP in all contracts passed the State Assembly and Senate but was vetoed by Cuomo at Bloomberg’s explicit request. (See attached letter).
He and former Board of Ed president Bill Thompson both explained that in 1995, the city reassessed the hiring system and decided that industry-wide seniority is a good way to ensure safety and continuity for the students. The messed-up routes our disabled pre K students had in September were an example of DOE giving contracts to companies who had never done this work before.
Other politicians who spoke for prioritizing Safety over cost cutting were Leticia James, Jumaane Williams, Bill deBlasio, Bill Thompson, John Liu, Robert Jackson, Elizabeth Crowley and Vincent Gentile. The program was facilitated by Minister Kirsten John Foy on behalf of the From Day One Coalition.
A couple of concerned parents and teachers stood in solidarity. Our signs said “Don’t Walmart-ize our school buses” and of course, Parents to Improve School Transportation. From Day One is trying to get a permit for a parent led rally later this week on the steps of City Hall. Please keep in touch for details. Prepare your children, they have a place in this effort! We all know the school bus is their lifeline. Let's unite to make that lifeline stronger, not allow Bloomberg and Cuomo to make it weaker.