NEW YORK — Members of a school bus drivers union here voted to authorize a strike on Monday after lawmakers failed to include job protections for drivers in the new state budget, New York Daily News reports.
Michael Cordiello, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, told the newspaper that drivers voted for the strike against Reliant Bus Company — which transports 12,000 of the city’s students with disabilities — because it hasn’t agreed to the same salaries and benefit packages given to workers at other bus companies. A spokesperson for Reliant added that the company is unable to offer raises and competitive benefits for workers unless the state legislature writes them into law.
Since the start of the school year, the city has faced issues with school transportation service due to leadership changes, a federal probe, and an outside audit of bus contracts, according to the newspaper.
A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio told New York Daily News that they are working to encourage lawmakers in Albany to approve job protections for bus drivers, and that the city will work closely with families to ensure students aren’t left stranded. There is still no word yet on whether drivers will move forward with the strike, according to CBS New York.