Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union is the group threatening the strike, according to a report at the New York Daily News. The primary point of contention is a demand by the union that pre-kindergarten bus drivers receive seniority-based job protection like other school bus drivers in the city. The union wants these bus drivers to receive protection, even if the current company they work for does not win a new contract. The concern arose when city officials began to talk of collecting bids for a new transportation company when the current company’s contract expires in June of next year.
“The last thing we need is to bring that level of risk to the buses New York City parents depend on to get their children to school safe and sound,” Cordiello said in a statement that was reported at the Journal. However, despite concerns, Cordiello also emphasized that while a strike was likely, there were no immediate plans for it at this time.
Jobs are also at the center of the debate, particularly in light of current economic conditions around the city. Cordiello explained to the New York Daily News, “In a time when the economy is failing and people need to be in work, this is all about protecting jobs.”