City Can (But Won't) Play Its Part in Bus Strike

We're damn-near a month into the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181's bus-driver and matron strike, and the city is still pretending like it doesn't have everything to do with why this mess continues to drag-on.

The union, politicians and parents are begging the city to at least come to the table and consider negotiating an agreement with the striking workforce. But, in case they haven't made it clear enough, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott are stubbornly sticking to their argument that the city cannot legally implement a new Employee Protection Provision for drivers and matrons when their contract expires in June.

Two weeks ago the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the city, along with bus companies, are the primary employers of the union. But apparently the city doesn't really care what the NLRB thinks.

"I've said it over and over again. I think it's the role between companies and the union, and I'm not changing that," Walcott testified during a joint-committee city council hearing on Friday. "We have a responsibility based on our legal interpretation and based on what we feel is the right thing -- not to include the EPP."

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