NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg has scheduled a meeting between school bus companies and union leaders in an effort to resolve an ongoing strike.
A mediator will conduct the meeting at Gracie Mansion on Monday.
Bloomberg is hoping the two sides can come to an agreement to end the strike which entered its seventh day on Friday.
The walkout began last Wednesday, triggered by the city’s plan to put bus contracts out to bid to lower costs.
Michael Cordiello of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union has said the drivers will strike until Bloomberg and the city agree to put a job security clause back into their contract.
The Bloomberg administration has insisted that it cannot do any such thing, and that such a clause would be illegal.
Bloomberg has stressed from the start that this is an issue between the employers and their employees.
“The employees that are striking have to resolve their issues with the bus companies that employee them and not us,” Bloomberg said last week.
The city will not have representatives present at next week’s meeting.
“The best way for this strike to end is with Local 1181, Mayor Bloomberg and the City’s bus companies in one room, talking candidly and in good faith. We urge Mayor Bloomberg to join us at the table to work towards ending this strike. Until that happens, the strike goes on,” Cordiello said in a statement released Friday.
“The union has made it clear they want the Mayor and the city to be at the table and negotiate a solution and would remain on strike until the Employee Protection Provision is back in the bids. So far, the Mayor and the DOE have shown no evidence or willingness to modify their position and have confirmed they will not be at the meeting,” the bus companies said in a statement.
The strike has idled more than half the city’s school buses, forcing an estimated 113,200 students to find other ways to get to school.