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It's a matter of fairness. Drivers and Monitors should have the right to an impartial hearing.
It's a matter of fairness. Drivers and Monitors should have the right to an impartial hearing.

School Bus Grievance Process Bill Gaining Support in Albany

Our Political Action Department is making gains on a crucial bill to improve the lives of school bus drivers in Westchester. PAC's Viviana Guzman, a Monitor from Mile Square on union release, is pounding the pavement in Albany, getting more and more legislators to sign on to A.2781 - S.3474, the School Bus Grievance Process Bill. Just this week, State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Jesse Hamilton signed on, as well as Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. That makes the total 16 in the Assembly, and 8 in the Senate. This bill costs the State nothing -- but would make a big difference in the right to due process that's guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution but is often in short supply in the workplace.

Here's the issue: School Bus Drivers and Monitors working for companies that have contracts with school districts -- like Mile Square, Supertrans, White Plains, and Royal Coach -- can be suspended or struck from a company roster by a school district without any recourse. In a recent case, one driver was ordered by a teacher to park his bus in the middle of a block next to a row of double-parked cars. He said that wasn't safe (in fact, prohibited by State regs), and drove his bus further down the block to get curbside so the kids would be safe. This resulted in the teacher's calling the school district for disobeying her order, and the school district then disqualifying him as a driver in that district. The company he worked for had no problem with his conduct, but were helpless to stop the school district from imposing a penalty. So was the union -- because our contract is with the company, not the district. The bill would mandate that school districts are a party to the union contract when it comes to the imposition of discipline. This means that any drivers or monitors who get penalized would have an opportunity to dispute the sanction and get a fair hearing, up to impartial arbitration. 

Please call your State legislators -- and ask them to sign on.

Union Pushes Back Against GCS Exploitation at Access-A-Ride

TWU came out to support our members at Global Contact Services, the MTA’s call center for Access-A-Ride in Long Island City. The issue: in spite of promising good jobs, the Salisbury, North Carolina company has slashed wages for its New York-based workforce from $16 when it took over in 2012 to between $9 and $12/hour now. It has also engaged in a pattern of vicious targeting of union organizers and union supporters. TWU Local 100, with an assist from local politicians, is telling the MTA board of directors to direct that GCS negotiate a contract with the union in good faith and keep their promises of creating jobs that allow local people to have a decent quality of life.

Whilby Attorney Wants to Examine Pena's Bus as Discovery Continues in Bus Operator Murder Case

May 13 -- TWU Local 100 officers and staff joined Nancy Rodriguez, widow of slain Bus Operator William Pena, their daughter Gabrielle, attorney Sanford Rubenstein, and friends in court to continue to press for justice. Domonic Whilby, charged with Murder in the Second Degree, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, seven other criminal counts, was led into court in handcuffs looking fit and trim in a black t-shirt and denim jeans. He has been incarcerated since his arrest on February 12, the day of Pena's death at 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan. His attorney, Laura Miranda, said she wants to examine Pena's M-14 bus, and asked for another test to be done on her client's blood samples from the day of the accident. Judge Gregory Carro, ruling to continue discovery in the case, set the next court date for June 24. Outside the court house, Nancy, TWU Local 100 MaBSTOA Vice Chair Don Yates, and Attorney Rubenstein talked to the media.

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