NLRB Rules NYC School Bus Strike Is Legal

The strike is now in its third week as drivers and matrons fight for job security

Friday, Feb 1, 2013  |  Updated 12:39 PM EDT
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Non-Union School Bus Drivers Stay on the Job

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Replacement School Bus Drivers, Matrons Cross Picket Line

Replacement workers were on duty for the first time since the New York City school bus driver strike began nearly two weeks ago. Tracie Strahan reports.

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The National Labor Relations Board has ruled the New York City school bus strike is legal and can continue.
The strike is now in its third week as drivers and matrons fight for job security when the city puts school bus contracts up for new bids this spring.

The city says it must seek competitive bids on bus contracts to save money. Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union wants the new contracts to include job protections for current drivers and matrons.

Bus companies who are being fined for missed routes, had filed a complaint claiming the strike was illegal in hopes of bringing it to an end.

"We are disappointed but not surprised at the ruling," said Jeffrey Pollack, attorney for the New York City School Bus Contractors Coalition. "The bus companies will continue to do everything we can to get the buses rolling so we can get New York City’s school children back to school safely."  

Replacement workers crossed the picket lines Tuesday for the first time since the strike began on January 16, restoring 59 of the 113 routes affected by the strike. More than 150,000 city public school students depend on the buses to get to and from school.

On Wednesday, the city rejected a proposal by union leaders to have drivers and matrons return to work for a 60 to 90 day period, if the city held off on putting the bus contracts up for bid.

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