Sunday, November 20, 2011 6:57:00 PM
PIST had our first 2011-12 meeting with the Amalgamated Transportation Union local leadership. A few things we learned:
The legislation to guarantee that pre-K and Early Intervention busing will be covered by an Employee Protection Provision, which retains drivers and escorts who have training and experience, was passed by both houses in Albany but VETOED by Governor Cuomo—who had received a letter from NYC Mayor Bloomberg asking him to veto! These bids are coming up soon. If OPT and companies do not respect EPP on principle, they will put NYC at risk of a school bus strike. This issue is serious within the ATU contract. They do not want their jobs going to temp agencies and neither should we as parents support worse wages/working conditions that will surely follow from weakening of job protections in the bus sector. This feels like another case of powerful politicians making young children the victims of their cost-cutting tricks. Please be ready to make some noise about this! Stay in contact (www.pistnyc.org, PIST NYC page on Facebook).
The route changes that often occur on October 31 in relation to Extended Day session changes are not negotiated with the driver and escort unions.
The seniority pick that happens in mid November leads to route changes for some people on the Monday after Thanksgiving. This is something that the union retains only because the routes are done so poorly in September. If OPT created routes that were capable of staying the same, drivers would pick in August and leave it alone.