In light of a letter from all of the serious contenders in New York City?s coming mayoral election and appeals from NYC City Council members,the leaders of Local?1181?? New York have voted to end the five-week old strike of NYC school bus drivers and matrons.?Read more.
With Mayor Bloomberg leaving office this year and the candidates ?pledging, if elected, to revisit the school bus transportation system and contracts and take effective action to insure that the important job security, wages and benefits of your members are protected within the bidding process,? it was in the best interest of the end the strike.?Read letter.
The Local looks forward to working with the new mayor and the city to come up with a solution to this dispute that ensures the important employee protections for school bus drivers and matrons.
?It?s been a long five weeks and I?m proud of the strength, solidarity, and courage our members showed each and every day on the picket lines,? said Local 1181 President Michael Cordiello. ?We want to thank all our supporters who helped us through this difficult time. Our bus drivers and matrons look forward to getting back to work and doing the important job of safely transporting the students, who are like our own children, to and from school each day.?
Yuma (AZ) transit workers avert strike for now
Yuma bus riders can breathe a sigh of relief as Yuma County Area Transportation (YCAT) transit workers will remain on the job as contract talks are set to continue in mid-March. The bus drivers, mechanics and utility workers, members of Local?1433-Phoenix, AZ, had voted to go on strike if negotiations failed this week with First Transit, manager of YCAT.
?The YCAT operators are some of the lowest paid professional operators in the West,? says Local President Bob Bean. ?They also have to work six days a week to maybe make 36 hours a week. ?They’re not even making it above poverty level. We’re trying to get them a contract so they can afford to live.?
Bean added that the workers also don’t have sick days; and if they do take a day off, it goes on their attendance record, and after a certain number, they’re fired. The local has asked Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ, to intervene.
The workers also asked ATU to represent them in negotiations with First Transit last year, and voted unanimously to join the Union in April.?Read more.
Calling for more dedicated, long term sustainable funding for mass transit, Pennsylvania locals and state politicians joined a coalition of hundreds of riders, workers, and activists at a rally in Harrisburg?s capitol rotunda in response to Republican Governor Tom Corbett?s recently released transportation proposal.ATU &?
PA transit advocates rally for more state funding
?Bus lines and transit lines are our lifelines,? says Molly Nichols, a volunteer with Pittsburghers for Public Transit. ?We use them to get to school, to work, to the doctor?s office, to churches, to shops ? and current transit service is not efficient or affordable.?
From Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, to Erie and Scranton, transit systems across the state are facing a severe funding crisis that needs more attention from the governor and lawmakers.
Pittsburgh rider Carolyn Kemp said the cutbacks are causing day-to-day problems for riders like her. ?Every day that I try to catch the bus, three or four go by that are too full to pick me up. This is ridiculous,? Kemp said.
State legislators at the rally and demonstrators vowed to fight any efforts to privatize public transit.
?We?re not going there,? said State Senator Jay Costa. ?This administration has started by trying to privatize wine and spirit shops. They want to privatize the lottery fund. We?re not going there, and we sure as hell are not going to let them privatize mass transit.”?Read more.
Pensacola transit workers protest proposal to divert gas tax funds from transit
Pensacola would suffer drastic cuts to bus service if the City?s planned use of proceeds from the recently passed gas tax are not used to fund the transit system as proposed says Escambia Transit County Area (ECAT) transit workers at a rally to protest the plan.
Carrying signs reading ?Fund ECAT? riders and transit workers, members of ATU Local 1395 ? Pensacola, painted red X?s on bus to represent the bus routes that would be cut. Ridership is up 11 percent from 2011 and the system is strapped for money.
Local 1395 members played a key in getting in the Escambia County commission to approve the 4-cent gas tax across the county last year, with a goal of providing about $4 million in dedicated annual revenue to the ECAT.
Now Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has announced plans to use gas tax proceeds to expand the airport.
?If the City Council does not support the County Commission’s 4-cent gas tax and dedicate their portion of the money…that could ultimately cause some serious problems for you, the passengers and the citizens of the community,” Local 1395 President Michael Lowery told riders and transit supporters.Read more.
Atlanta transit workers gearing up for privatization fight
Atlanta transit workers, members of Local 732 ? Atlanta, are teaming with Georgians for Transit, local politicians and other transit advocates to gear up for a campaign to stop plans for privatization of MARTA ? the city?s public transit system..
A flawed KPMG report commissioned by the city has recommended that the system be privatized, and a bill to that effect has been introduced in the Georgia legislature.?Another soon to be released report, however, calls the KPMG paper?a ?biased report based on false comparisons, illegitimate cost measures, incomplete data, and short-sighted observations? to arrive at the conclusion that Atlanta?s transit system should be privatized.??Stay tuned. This is gearing up to be a ?battle royale.?
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