Transit Union Refutes Bloomberg’s Bus Plan

December 29, 2013 Updated: December 29, 2013

NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans for the city’s school buses, which provoked a five-weeklong bus strike last winter, will cost taxpayers money and jeopardize public safety according to a report by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) released Sunday.

The report, by Peter Donohue of San Francisco’s PBI Associates for the ATU, suggests that the changes to the school bus contracts that opened to public bid last year will incur costs due to displaced workers, higher workforce turnover, and loss of efficiency caused by the plan.

The report states that 2,000 bus drivers were displaced in 2013 and that many of the longtime bus drivers have been replaced by less experienced drivers, who are probably on a lower wage.

In addition, Donohue suggests that removing Employee Protection Provisions (EPPs) from school bus contracts may not result in any savings.

Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced in November that the new contracts will save the city $210 million over the next five years.

But ATU International President Larry Hanley is not so sure.

“The idea that this is saving taxpayer’s money is ridiculous,” he said

The ATU is calling on the incoming city comptroller to review the school bus plan. Hanley hopes that de Blasio’s office will turnaround the situation.

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