On Wednesday, September 20th, New York City witnessed a pivotal development as the union representing its school bus drivers and the three principal bus companies in the city reached a tentative agreement. This move effectively averted a potentially crippling city-wide strike, bringing relief to many, especially considering the potential impact on the city’s education system and the daily lives of thousands of students and their families.
The three-year deal was brokered between ATU Local 1181 and school bus companies that are contracted by the city’s Department of Education. These companies collectively cover more than 4,000 bus routes throughout New York City. A representative for the bus companies expressed their satisfaction with the agreement, stating, “Our priorities are our students and our employees, and that’s why we are thrilled to have reached a win-win-win deal that gives stability and certainty for years to come.”
While the final details of the agreement are yet to be officially documented and signed, this development ensures that over 80,000 students across the five boroughs will not lose their transportation to school. This figure was further corroborated by CBS New York, which estimated that bus services would continue for approximately 86,000 students in light of the reached agreement.
The specifics of the deal remain undisclosed at this time. However, the overarching sentiment from city officials and stakeholders is one of gratitude and relief. This development underscores the importance of dialogue and collaboration in resolving potential crises, ensuring the smooth functioning of essential services in the city. Mayor Eric Adams’ office released a statement expressing their appreciation, saying, “We are grateful that ATU Local 1181 and DOE-contracted school bus companies were able to come to a voluntary agreement that will ensure continuity of service and peace of mind for the more than 80,000 students and their families who rely on these services, including thousands of students with disabilities.” The statement further emphasized the importance of collaboration, noting that when both labor and management approach negotiations with mutual cooperation, it results in “meaningful outcomes for all New Yorkers.”