School Bus Drivers’ Union Calls for Strike on Wednesday

January 15, 2013

For the first time in more than three decades, New York City’s largest union for school bus drivers plans to strike on Wednesday morning, a move that would affect more than 150,000 students.

Even before the head of the union, Local 1811 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, delivered the news at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg held his own news conference to denounce the move and say that the city was ready with an array of backup steps to support children and their families.

Among them is a plan to provide MetroCards to affected children who take yellow buses, for as long as the strike might last, as well as to the parents of students in kindergarten through second grade.

Those whose schools are inaccessible by public transportation can get reimbursed for mileage or cabs, the mayor said. Students will get a two-hour reprieve on lateness or be excused altogether for absences caused by a strike disruption without harm to their attendance rolls, he said.

Mr. Bloomberg accused the union of abandoning the students who rely daily on the transportation service.

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