By Bill Parry
A threatened strike by union drivers at two New York City bus companies, which would have affected 12,000 public school students in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, was narrowly averted late Monday night. The Teamsters Union, representing 900 school bus drivers for Jofaz Transportation and Y&M Transit, demanded considerations for rising health care and lower paid time off.
Under the tentative agreement, reached just 90 minutes before a midnight deadline, the employers will continue to provide health care at no cost to employees, a key provision for union members, according to Teamsters spokesman Alex Moore. He said members would still need to ratify the agreement.
“We are pleased to report that Jofaz Transportation and Y&M Transit have reached a tentative agreement with their bus drivers’ union and all buses will operate as usual,” city Department of Education press secretary Devora Kaye said. “We are grateful to families and educators for their patience and support as we prepared contingency plans to provide transportation alternatives and families.”
The city would have provided free MetroCards and reimburse taxi or driving expenses to students and families if the walkout had taken place.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr