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ATU study: Mayor Bloomberg’s NYC school bus plan misleading

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The Amalgamated Transit Union representing New York’s transit workers calls on incoming City Comptroller to review outgoing Mayor Bloomberg's city school bus plan saying that rather than saving the city money, it will cost taxpayers millions more while jeopardizing the safety of school children according to a new study.

The study by Peter Donohue of San Francisco’s PBI Associates for the Amalgamated Transit Union found Bloomberg’s changes to school bus service contracts will increase costs between $60 million to $239 million and not save the $20 million to $40 million as the Mayor claims.

“Mayor Bloomberg is intentionally misleading New Yorkers to believe his school bus plan will save the City millions while falsely blaming school bus workers for rising costs and threatening the safety of students,” says ATU International President Larry Hanley. “We call on the incoming City Comptroller to hold the contracts for a thorough review.”

They say that the ‘supposed savings’ promised by Bloomberg through contracts without Employee Protection Provisions, in place since 1979, will not come from cutting the cost of school bus service but from shifting its costs onto displaced bus workers, other City agencies, the State, students, their parents and taxpayers. The report documents that the departure of experienced school bus workers for new inexperienced hires would increase the City’s liabilities, small claims and insurance premiums.

The ATU says that would also lead to an increase in worker turnover leading to higher administrative overhead costs. Medical care and social service costs for workers displaced by the Mayor’s proposed changes will also add to the bill. The workers say the plan is pennywise, but dollar dumb and does not produce the savings the Mayor claims the report says. They call on the Comptroller to consider lost productivity, higher overhead and medical and social service costs for displaced experienced workers.

“The Mayor’s plan does not add up to the savings he claims and has harmful and serious consequences for the City,” says Hanley. “It just pushes the costs on to tax payers, other City agencies and others while jeopardizing the safety and security of the city’s most precious cargo our students.”

The Amalgamated Transit Union, AFL-CIO, CLC is the largest international labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada representing a broad range of frontline transit workers providing public transit, school transportation, intercity bus service, light rail, para transit, ferry services, and maintenance and clerical service as well as firefighters and other municipal employees. The ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests and welfare of its hard-working members and all working people.



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