Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The Union representing the city's school bus drivers said it has no immediate plans to strike. Amalgamated Transit Local 1181’s President Michael Cordiello said the union doesn't want to walk out but “has been forced to keep its options open due to the city's cost cutting measures.”
The union threatened to strike in response to the Department of Education's bid for new bus contracts for nearly 14,000 special education, pre-kindergarten and pre-school students.
The union is seeking job protections for current employees.
Cordiello confirmed the union has re-opened collective bargaining with companies performing general and special education bus transportation to negotiate new terms for workers employed by those companies.
On Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned parents of a possible strike. He suggested that families of about 155,000 public school students create a back-up plan in case drivers walk off the job. The DOE is also planning to issue Metro cards and dismiss absences if school bus service is stopped.
The National Labor Relations Board said it's considering the city's request to help it avert a strike by the drivers if necessary.