NYC School-Bus Drivers Strike Set for Tuesday Morning

NEW YORK -

School-bus drivers at two New York City companies are set to begin a strike Tuesday morning, possibly preventing thousands of private school students from reaching their places of learning, including 50 yeshivos.

Jofaz Transportation and Y&M Transit voted last week in favor of a strike to force management to address increased healthcare costs and reduced holidays. The two school-bus companies share the same owner and union contract and run about 600 routes in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The strike would involve about 900 workers and thousands of students.

A federal mediator is working with the parties to avert the strike and the city is cautiously optimistic that they will succeed.

About 12,000 public-school students and 2,500 nonpublic-school students would potentially be affected by the strike. These include 1,700 general-education and special-education students attending 50 yeshivos, according to Mrs. Deborah Zachai, director of education affairs for Agudath Israel of America.

“We have been in close contact both with the mayor’s office and the Office of Pupil Transportation at the New York City Department of Education to ensure that yeshivos are fully aware of a possible yellow bus strike and the contingency plans in place,” Mrs. Zachai told Hamodia on Monday.

Contingency plans include MetroCards for students and families and alternate bus service.

Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed at a rate of 54 cents per mile. Those taking a car service will be reimbursed if they bring in receipts.