The New York City schools chancellor Dennis Walcott is suggesting parents of  152,000 students to find alternative ways to get to class due to the threatening  a school bus strike.

Officials of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union say they’re trying  to avert a strike, but school officials are taking the necessary steps. The city  is offering reimbursements and Metrocards to parents who would need  transportation alternatives.

If they’re younger, a parent or guardian also would get a MetroCard to escort  a child. And in the case of special needs children, families would get  reimbursed for non-public transportation.

“A strike would affect our most vulnerable students,” Chancellor Dennis  Walcott told a news conference at the Manhattan headquarters of the Department  of Education Sunday.

The children who use the yellow school buses include 54,000 with  disabilities, the chancellor said, and the “union should stop playing games,  issuing threats of striking” – but not saying which day it might happen.

“The union has said, ‘Well, maybe on Monday, well maybe Wednesday, maybe  we’ll do it, maybe we won’t do it.’ They’re jerking our kids around,” Walcott  said. “We can’t allow that to happen.”

The city is looking to cut transportation costs and has put bus contracts up  for a bid. The union is contesting the lack of employee protections saying many  current drivers could suddenly lose their jobs once their contracts are up in  June.

A strike would impact all students who use the buses, including parochial and  private schools.

New York City has 1.1 million students in its school district.

Source: Fox 5 NY


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