Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
It's Day 2 of the School Bus Driver's strike or "If It's Yellow Let It Mellow 2013". Many parents are working themselves up to a white hot rage that is almost as bad as when you threw that party and your friends left beer cans in the microwave. Many children are psyched to finally be able to silence their parents' "I walked to school and it was uphill both ways" stories.
It does not seem like there will be an agreement reached between the two sides anytime soon. While we can't be absolutely sure that this isn't a Ferris Bueller-style plan set in motion by students to avoid an Earth Science mid-term, the story for now is that city and TWA Local 1181 are fighting over job protections. The DOE says it is illegal to offer such clauses as it opens up bids on certain bus routes for the first time in thirty years.
According to the NYTimes:"For decades, the city has embraced anticompetitive measures and carried on business relations with an array of bus companies, including some that have been implicated in bribery, been under the sway of organized crime and, in one case, run by a man who displayed a pistol at a negotiating session."
Apparently, school buses cost the city over $1 billion dollars a year. For those of us who are not economists or animated movie villans, $1 billion dollars can be a difficult number to visualize. Here is a list of other things that cost $1 billion dollars:
Perhaps if the children are willing to pool together and sell all of their toys, they can finance the buses on their own? It's called pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, kids. It's time to start Ben Franklin'ing.
While many parents are longing for the days when their biggest responsibility was checking the rearview mirror before they changed lanes on a spring break road trip, Mayor Bloomberg offers comforting words in his press conference this morning. The mayor said, "I hope this does not last a long time, but it's not going to last more than June, because that's the end of the school year."