900 NYC School Bus Drivers Could Strike Next Week

Drivers and attendants at two of New York City's largest school bus companies have voted to authorize a strike, which could begin as soon as next Tuesday, the drivers' union says. 

Over 900 drivers could strike on Nov. 1, which would affect thousands of students using the Jofaz and Y&M bus services contracted by the Department of Education, according to the union. The companies transport students across 600 routes in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. 

Workers say they want higher wages and are protesting the companies' move to increase health care costs and take away five holidays to make up for the city's new paid sick days law.

The Teamsters Local 533 union said when its original contract expired in June, leaders decided to extend the contract twice -- but now say they're prepared to strike on Nov. 1, the day after the current contract extension expires.

A Department of Education spokeswoman says contingency plans are place, including a MetroCard for students and families and alternate bus service.

Telephone calls to the bus companies went unanswered.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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