December Update Contents:
New rally date
Report from EPP rally
Events this Tues.
***No rally this Sat Nov 30***New date Sat Dec 14, synchronized with a rally in Puerto Rico***
2:00 pm on 14th Street near Union Square, children more than welcome!
Stop violations of the civil rights of students with disabilities under federal law and UN declarations.
Reverse the cuts imposed on schools in Puerto Rico by the unelected board of bankers.
Make school bus routes shorter, safer and more eco-friendly. EPP now!
Note: Our parent community includes Bronx-based Bomba y Plena musicians who will play at the rally.
Stay tuned for flyer and growing list of endorsers in our next email. To find out how you can help, write back firstname.lastname@example.org or call Milagros (929) 228-0515
PIST Report from Nov 18 rally for school bus EPP law (S 6208)
Parent advocates from District 75 (special education programs which make up 98% of children who take the school bus 12 months a year), and from other public and non-public schools were at the November 18 rally urging Governor Cuomo to sign EPP into law this year. [see attached photo and excerpt from the Chief Leader newspaper]
Organized New York parents of school bus riders support lifting up experienced drivers, attendants and mechanics by any means available. Busing is a hard-won right that provides access to school for students with disabilities, students in temporary housing, and a total of 150,000 students each year. School bus companies come and go, and not all are equal, but with EPP at least all routes are staffed from a pool of trained safety professionals who can pass along practical knowledge to newer recruits.
It’s sensible to prefer that our children attend a school that has plenty of teachers with more than five years on the job. Schools are even ‘graded’ on their percentage of experienced faculty. Young teachers may bring needed energy and new ideas, but it takes a while to develop the wisdom to reach all kinds of students. It’s just as sensible to favor school bus crews who are familiar with the regulations, the roads, and how to supervise children without taking personally--or responding harshly to--their needs and behaviors.
Much of the coverage quoted parents or at least acknowledged our presence there. Sadly, most reports played up a difference of approach by different transportation unions. We seek progress and unity between all the unions that all have our kids’ lives in their hands! The Transport Workers’ Union Local 100 (TWU) carries our students who use metrocards. They and the Teamsters each have a number of school bus worker members; the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 (ATU) has the majority, and some drivers and attendants are non-union.
The law on Cuomo’s desk does not name any particular union but rather states that whenever a new bus company gets a contract from the Department of Education, the vacancies must be filled from a citywide seniority list first. EPP fills vacancies but does not cause anyone to get bumped from a job they hold. It also makes the job attractive to retain people with a decent wage & benefits package which had also been diminished since the 2013 bids.
School bus families are so close to winning this EPP protection, which overall represents more safety for the children and more justice for the workers. Meanwhile TWU is fighting for a decent contract with the MTA, which they also deserve. We think school bus riders are important enough to justify working out differences for the greater good.
Members of the community can still contact the governor about the need for S 6208 using https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
3 events of interest on Tues Dec 3:
9:00 a.m. at 250 Broadway across from City Hall Park, Manhattan:
Alliance for Quality Education #FundNYSchools campaign
Year after year, New York State shortchanges our children and our public schools. Now, New York owes New York City public schools $1.5 billion. The budget session is around the corner. It officially begins in January and runs through April.
Join us on Dec 3rd at 9 AM to make sure ALBANY hears us loud and clear: FUND OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. RSVP to join us now.
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at 63 Fifth Ave, Manhattan
“City & State NY” School Bus Safety Forum
NYC and LI electeds, reporters, and New York School Bus Contractors Association will speak on School Bus Safety Programs and Initiatives; Stop-Arm Cameras.
The description mentions families but nobody in our network is on the agenda…
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM at 34th St Herald Square, New York, NY
International Day of People with Disabilities rally and march
For accessibility, elevators, dignity & against increased policing of riders
You can see what PIST is up to, and all the educational / activist events we come across, on social media--Page: https://www.facebook.com/pistnyc/
Twitter: @pistnyc https://twitter.com/pistnyc
Get in touch by email if you are interested in making a donation to our work. No amount is too small.