School bus driver strike averted at eleventh hour

Dean Hochman/Creative Commons

The New York Cityschool bus driver strike scheduled for Tuesday that threatened the commutes of over 12,000 public school students was narrowly averted late Monday night.

The Teamsters Union representing 900 school bus drivers employed by Jofaz Transportation and Y&M Transit managed to work out a tentative deal with company managers about 90 minutes before their midnight deadline. If an agreement had not been reached, the drivers would have walked off the job Tuesday morning which they voted to do last week.

“We are pleased to report that Jofaz Transportation and Y&M Transit have reached a tentative agreement with their bus drivers’ union and all buses will operate tomorrow as usual,” Department of Education spokesperson Devora Kaye announced following the intense meeting late Monday.

The drivers’ demands included considerations for rising health care costs and diminishing paid time off. The agreement outlined during Monday’s negotiations includes a provision in which the city will continue to provide medical insurance at no cost to the drivers.

The city had prepared for a strike by publicizing emergency transportation plans that would provide free MetroCards and reimburse driving and taxi expenses to students and parents.

“We are grateful to families and educators for their patience and support as we prepared contingency plans to provide transportation alternatives for students and families,” Kaye said.

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