Bed-StuyBlogCommunityEconomic JusticeEducation
school-sign-green-lg
January 30, 2013

Why We Are On Strike

By: Kirsten John Foy

Can you imagine needing a service with life and death, or serious quality of life implications — surgery, air travel, or life guarding, for example — and opting for a rookie over a veteran to provide that service?

Who among us would say, “Experience is overrated, I’ll go with the new pilot for 30% cheaper”?

How many times have you heard, “I’ll go with the discount surgeon”?

This is exactly the kind of logic Mayor Bloomberg has applied to school bus transportation. He wants to gut the professional and highly experienced workforce, both unionized and non-unionized, which transports and cares for our children, and replace it with a pool of transient, under paid, inexperienced labor.

If we demand experience and proven competency for ourselves, why would we accept anything less for our children? The rookie workforce Bloomberg seeks to activate would be responsible for safely and efficiently transporting dozens of rambunctious, hot blooded, New York City kids to and from school without incident. It would be laughable if it were not so dangerous and real.

Destroying A Profession

The Mayor seeks to eliminate a 50 year old feature of the city’s school bus contract commonly known as the Employee Protection Provision. The EPP was intended to create the school bus driver and matron professions by establishing a master seniority list to which all bus contractors are bound. No matter which company is awarded a bus contract, the EPP mandates that the most experienced and most senior drivers, matrons and mechanics receive the first right of refusal. What makes the EPP so special is that it protects all workers, whether unionized or not.

Putting Children with Special Needs in Harm’s Way

This dramatic shift in 50 years worth of practice is particularly dangerous because it puts the city’s most vulnerable children at serious risk. If Bloomberg has his way, anyone with a driver’s license and in need of a job will be put in the driver’s seat of a bus full of special needs children.

Drivers and matrons of children with special needs are more than just safe transporters. In many instances they represent trusted friends and security blankets to special needs children. To take away these professionals is to wipe away those unique relationships. Special needs children require continuity, familiarity, stability and expertise from their bus drivers and matrons. Instead, Bloomberg seeks to play roulette with their mobile care.

A Reckless and Hostile Policy

Last week, the Mayor said in a press conference that our city’s children will just have to learn to live without all the care and protections, both physical and emotional, that bus drivers and matrons provide. So too, if the Mayor has his way, will workers, in a time of deep economic insecurity, have to learn to live without basic job protections.

Is it any wonder why we are striking?

To support the students, parents, and professionals who care for our children call  your council member, assembly member, state senator, and the mayor’s office at 311.  Ask Mayor Bloomberg to come to the table and work with everyone involved to end the crisis. You can also like us on Facebook at ATU Local 1181, sign our online petition at http://nysaflcio.org/safety1st/, and then bring some coffee and a smile to a picket line!

 

Kirsten John Foy is a spokesperson for Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 1181.

About this author

Brooklyn Movement Center

Brooklyn Movement Center

The Brooklyn Movement Center (the “MC”) is a membership-led, direct-action, community organizing body based in Central Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and the surrounding area). We bring together residents to identify important issues in their lives, win concrete improvements in their community, and build power. The Brooklyn MC is staffed by local organizers, supported by volunteers, governed by a community-based board of directors, and guided by an advisory group made up of activists and organizers from across the city

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Bed-Stuy
 
Listen to Manny W. talk about how a constant police presence...
 
As I approached the corner of Throop Avenue and Van Buren...
 
On July 21st 2013 Kyam Livingston, a 37 year old African...
 
Listen to Ricky S. talk about the misplaced priorities of the...
 
Raise your hand if you’re jaded by elections. You should be....
 
Few people consider voting subversive activity. In fact, we think of...
 
  The race to represent District 36 in the NYC Council...
 
Listen to Malcolm S. talk about the various constitutional violations inherent...
 
Charla Harlow (of the Harlow Project ) was with us at the Chalk...
 
Marc K. believes the NYPD are directly targeting communities of color....
 
Listen to Michael talk about the consequences of taking a plea...
 
Listen to Miles K. talk about how angry it made him...
 
In this episode of “On The Block”, BMC sits with Chelsea...
 
Listen to Milton P. talk about being beaten ruthlessly by the...
 
Think you’re a Taboo champ? PROVE IT! Come with a team...
 
By: Kirsten John Foy Can you imagine needing a service with...
 
Last year thousands of MomsRising.org members told Governor Coumo that NY’s...
 
Natasha was on her way to the library when she was...
 
After a year of research and conversations with hundreds of local...
 
By YK Hong Dedicated to all of those who walk down...
 
By John Raskin Brooklynites are working together to win a better...
 
Oliver S. talks about racial profiling in this sound bite about...
 
Listen to Oscar C. talk about his encounters with the NYPD...
 
Listen to Paulene J. talk about the time her grandson was...
 
By: Leon Johnson As a child the primary location of refuge,...
 
By: Byron Hurt The food we eat is as critically important...
 
Listen to Ricky S. talk about the misplaced priorities of the...
 
It was a moment many had expected for years, ever since...
 
Listen to Roland L. talk about how gay and queer people...
 
Listen to Roy F. talk about how the police can get...
 
In this podcast, hear Samuel break down the real issue of...
 
Although New York City public schools progress reports for academic year...
 
By Rachel M. Kleinman & Damon T. Hewitt Each year, nearly...
 
Think Stop & Frisk is only a problem for men? Think...
 
The Brooklyn Movement Center has teamed up with the Brooklyn Community...
 
“Just because they have a badge or a uniform they think...
 
The  Center for Constituational Rights  has created a podcast of New Yorkers telling their stories...
 
This Wednesday, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), fellow advocates, and...
 
Wednesday, October 3rd at 6 p.m., Executive Director, Mark Winston Griffith...
 
On this one year anniversary of the birth of Occupy Wall...
 
The security guards at New York City Hall were overwhelmed, not...
 
<a href=”http://brooklynmovementcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/dnainfo.jpg”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-409″ src=”http://brooklynmovementcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/dnainfo-300×224.jpg” alt=”Bk stoop” width=”300″ height=”224″ /></a> BK...
 
<strong>By Lindsay Kalter</strong> <a href=”http://brooklynmovementcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/photoadayintersections.jpg”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-417″ alt=”photo a day garden”...
 
On the Block with BMC is a monthly video series profiling...
 
The Brooklyn Movement Center believes everyday people are the true witnesses...
 
Are you going to be a high school junior or senior...
 
A tiny burst of energy is enough to get any ball...
 
  Please come out and check out this important film being...
 
Daily Press , a coffee shop on Franklin & Hancock in Bedford-Stuyvesant, is...
 
By Maitefa Angaza – The Pratt Center for Community Development, Pratt’s Initiative...
 
Our very own Mark Winston Griffith was on NPR with Brian...
 
Several stores in the Bed-Stuy community have a new product on...
 
Over 150 Frederick Douglass Academy IV (FDA IV) and P.S. 26 parents, alumni,...
 
Executive Director Mark Winston Griffith joined Arva Rice, the president and CEO...
 
There are a lot of reasons for Central Brooklynites to not get involved...
 
You know Mary Ward.  She is in all of our families....
 
“Get on the bus!” That was my clarion call for the past...
 
In partnership with 500 Men Making a Difference, and the administration...
 
New details are emerging on the Department of Education’s decision that...
 
After only a few short months on the job, Cathie Black...
 
They’re super schools sent to save America’s neediest children.  Or they’re...
 
Congressman Anthony Weiner recently  released a report   that found that since 2006, the...
 
The state and city budgets contain nothing but bad news for...
 
Two years ago, Boys and Girls High School got a D...
 
Today on our website, the MC’s journalism intern Patrick Wall sounds...
 
Robert G. Thompson is a multimedia journalist, writer, and filmmaker, keeping a regular...
 
“I love the concept of change. Everybody’s in favor of change....
 
Robert G. Thompson is a multimedia journalist, writer, and filmmaker, keeping a regular...
 
The District 16 Project Bed-Stuy Patch/C.Zawadi Morris November 6, 2012  ...
 
Among the many items in this week’s news, there was one...
 
When times are hard, you discover who your real friends are....
 
The recent news that Mayor Bloomberg offered Jeffrey Canada, the founder...
 
No matter who you are, no matter what you do, there...
 
It’s no secret that Central Brooklyn is a poster child for...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
Listen to Manny W. talk about how a constant police presence...