STATEMENT FROM ATU LOCAL 1181 PRESIDENT MICHAEL CORDIELLO
“As Local 1181 has always said, our top priority is the safe transport to and from school of our City’s children. With that in mind, our Executive Board voted earlier this afternoon to suspend the five week strike, and return to work on Wednesday, February 20th.
“Though our strike has been suspended, the principles that we fight for remain pressing issues that the City will have to address. The fact is, a safe workforce is an experienced workforce and the Employee Protection Provisions currently included in the City’s busing contracts protect our most experienced drivers, matrons, and mechanics – and have created one of the safest workforces in the entire country.
“We continue to be dismayed by the Bloomberg Administration, which offered no assistance in bringing this strike to a close and furthermore, continued to mislead the public that the drivers, who make an average of $35,000/year and the matrons who make an at most $28,000/year, are somehow the driving force behind rising school bus transportation costs.
“In January when Mayor Bloomberg is gone, we are comfortable that his entire scheme will be rejected. We are grateful that so many elected leaders in this city are choosing the facts as a path to a conclusion, rather than a conclusion as a path to the facts.”