Striking Bus Drivers Hold Rally

NEW YORK (AP) -

Thousands of striking school bus drivers and their supporters staged a protest one day before the city opens bidding for new contracts.

Members of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union rallied Sunday near City Hall, demanding job security.

The city says it is not required to guarantee jobs.

Instead, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott say the city has to pick the most competitive bus company to cut the cost of driving about 150,000 students to school. The cost of busing students has risen from $100 million in 1979 to $1.1 billion today.

John Scotto, a Staten Island driver and father of four, calls the mayor “heartless” for threatening the livelihood of more than 8,000 drivers and matrons and their families.