Today the New York Post alerts us to a bizarre aspect of the MTA contract with the union. Due to the broad (we suppose) definition of “assault,” bus drivers who suffer the indignity of being spat upon can take an average of two months off. Each spitting encounter leads to more allotted time off, which means a bus driver can totally work the system, presuming he has a similar-minded spit-counterpart and doesn’t mind a little dampness about the face.
Last year 51 bus operators reported being hit by saliva, MTA officials said.
Altogether 1,500 drivers were assaulted last year in various ways, including being punched. “Some use no sick time at all,” MTA bus chief Joe Smith said.
It’s thought that some drivers have abused the policy and others really were traumatized by having a large loogie land in their face. You get rotten apples in every barrel, they say.
Speaking of rotten apples: Face-spitters seeking to extract vengeance, note that your intended targets are actually just getting vacation out of it. How about refusing to ride the bus in protest?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 24, 2010