School buses were rolling again Wednesday morning across Staten Island and the rest of New York City as striking drivers and matrons returned to their jobs after a walkout that lasted more than four weeks.
The walkout, which ended without a settlement, had made life difficult for parents who were forced to find other means of transportation for their school-age children. The city Department of Education had issued MTA passes as a transportation alternative for school school children.
City school attendance dropped during the strike
Attendance at city schools dropped during the strike, which affected not just the city's public schools but more than 200 non-public schools as well, added The Advance.
"The walkout by Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union was over job security, not wages or other benefits," added the report. "The city has begun seeking bids from other transportation companies, the first such call for bids in more than 30 years, in an effort to rein in costs. The drivers and matrons feared a contract with a new company would eliminate the job security provisions they currently have."
"For its part, City Hall maintained that the drivers work for the bus companies, not the city, so it could not insist on job-security provisions," according to The Advance.
The New York City Office of Pupil Transportation, the largest such department in the U.S., moves more than 600,000 students within the city's five boroughs, according to the report. Neighboring counties in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also use OPT services. Bus services include more than 160,000 school field trips each year. All in all, Staten Island parents and students can return to a more regular schedule now that the walkout has ended.