NYC Schools, Bus Companies Reach Deal to Avert Strike

A deal between New York City and two of the city's largest school bus companies has been reached, the mayor's office says, just hours before the midnight deadline Monday. 

The mayor's office tweeted that a deal was reached to avert a bus strike and that transportation for 12,000 public school students and 2,500 private school students in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island will go on as normal Tuesday.

Teamsters Local 553, the school bus drivers' union, said in a statement it has reached with bus companies Jofaz and Y&M on a new union contract. 

"All parties are pleased with the resolution," union spokesman Alex Moore said.

Members will need to approve the new contract.

Workers have been asking for higher wages and were 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.

Under the new agreement, the employers will continue to provide health care at no cost to employees. 

The Teamsters Local 533 union said when its original contract expired in June, leaders decided to extend the contract twice. Union leaders then said they were prepared to strike on Nov. 1, the day after the current contract extension expires.

The city's Department of Education has said there were "comprehensive contingency plans in place" if the strike proceeded, including MetroCards for students and family members, or reimbursement for travel and taxi fares.

Jofaz and Y&M are two of the largest school bus companies in New York City and share the same owner and the same union contract. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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