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Morning Spew

The Wheels on the Bus Might Go on Strike

It's the first day of school, time to sit up straight and read some links.

9:39 AM EDT on September 7, 2023

The top of a school bus that is marked "School bus."

(Caitlin Regan / Flickr)

New York City public schools are back open for students today, and yellow school buses are running—for now.

For weeks, the bus drivers, who are represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, have indicated that they will go on strike if their pay and working conditions aren't improved. (One recent job listing for a Brooklyn driver pegs the pay between $20 and $23 an hour, plus a $3,000 signing bonus.) While the buses will run Thursday and Friday, the first two days of school, additional service beyond that is not guaranteed. "Time is running out," one union official recently said

A strike would affect some 80,000 of the 150,000 students who rely on the school buses, many of whom have physical and developmental disabilities. The Adams administration has said that in the event of a strike, they would distribute free MetroCards and help connect families with federally funded rideshare services, but forcing parents to engage with multiple bureaucracies to cobble together their kids' routes to school is clearly insufficient. "We can’t figure out how to get our children to and from school safely, and maintain our jobs," one parent told Chalkbeat.

The last time bus drivers went on strike was in 2013, and during the month-long strike, attendance numbers for disabled students slumped. "It was so stressful," a parent of a student with developmental disabilities, recalled for the New York Times.

"We would never tolerate this for students in gifted and talented programs," that parent added. "It just feels that our kids are not as important as everybody else."

Here are some more links to stories. Do not trade them at lunchtime:

  • "This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City," Mayor Eric Adams told the crowd at a town hall meeting on the Upper West Side, referring to people seeking asylum. He added, "How many of you organized to stop what they're doing to us? How many of you were part of the movement to say, 'We're seeing what this mayor is trying to do,' and they're destroying New York City. It's gonna come to your neighborhoods." Really? Immigration has destroyed New York City?
  • The CITY obtained video of a former NYPD detective pulling a gun outside a migrant shelter in Brooklyn during an altercation. The former cop is working as a guard for the facility, and MedRite is the company that is supposed to be managing the site.
  • Somewhat relatedy, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander rejected DocGo's $432 million contract with the City to provide services to migrants, because, as Lander told the Times, DocGo has a sketchy record, and it's not even a social services provider or a logistics company. Mayor Adams said he's going to pay the contract anyway. DocGo seems pleased.
  • After the new Airbnb regulations went into effect, 15,000 listings disappeared across town.
  • E. Jean Carroll keeps winning.
  • The family of 30-year-old Eric Duprey is asking Attorney General Tish James to file murder charges against the NYPD sergeant who threw a cooler at Duprey's head as he was fleeing police, causing him to crash his scooter and sustain fatal injuries. Asked about the case on Wednesday, Mayor Adams said it was pending with the AG's office, but noted, "We don't throw coolers at fleeing suspects."
  • It's very hot at the U.S. Open and we do not actually mean the tennis.
  • "Assemblymember Jennifer Rajkumar is introducing legislation that would put both Albany and Mayor Eric Adams further in the driver’s seat of the migrant crisis."

And finally, please clap for Gray's Papaya:

(Photo via Caitlin Regan / Flickr)

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