OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A school bus strike in Nassau County means thousands of students and parents had to find another way to get to school Monday morning.
More than 300 drivers from TWU Local 252 are protesting outside of the Baumann Bus Company in Oceanside.
Union workers want a guaranteed five days of work, sick days and a pay increase, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
“We’re excellent drivers, matrons and we deserve a fair contract,” Union President Debra Hagan said. “They need five consistent days of pay so they can budget their life accordingly.”
“We’re in for the fight. We just want a fair wage and the same thing that every other bus company gets, guaranteed weeks. When the schools are closed, that’s your picked run you should pay for that,” said driver Terry Hind.
With drivers honking and waving in support, the striking school bus drivers said they will stay out here until a fair deal is reached, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported. Meaning more than 200 buses will not leave the lot until a contract is signed.
With no bus service, more than 4,000 students had to scramble to find a different way to school.
“My dad had to switch our cars and make sure I had a ride. My brother goes to Chaminade, he gets a bus every day and had to find a ride, it was kind of chaotic,” student Lily Coll said.
Parents hope the two groups can find common ground.
“I pray that they get what they want and get it fast, so everyone can go on with their lives,” mother Stephanie Broyles said.
The Hicksville school district will be opening their schools early and leaving them open late Monday for appropriate pickup. The three other districts are asking parents to make arrangements for transportation both to and from school.
In a statement, the Baumann Bus Company said it has “made many concessions throughout the negotiations and thought the parties had made great progress the evening of November 1, 2017 before the Union stated it was reverting to its proposal from earlier that morning.”
“The Union also stated that there was no deal unless the Union’s proposal of employees being paid for all days off on the school calendar and paid more if the Company needed employees to work on those days,” the statement said. “Please keep in mind that these are not holidays that are in question but days such as teacher conference days. These are days that employees previously never received pay for unless they worked the day. The Union is insisting that employees be paid almost double when they work on these days and states it will refuse any proposal from the Company that does not include this provision.”
The bus company said it plans to continue bargaining at federal mediation on Tuesday.
Negotiations have been ongoing since June.