Five school bus companies have reached a tentative agreement with the union representing bus drivers and other school bus workers, making the chances of a strike much less likely.
The union — ATU Local 1181 — said it's still working to reach a deal with three other bus companies, including NYC BUS, which is owned by the city.
In a statement released Wednesday night, ATU Local 1181 said is had secured wage increases and other protections, including “getting back provisions they lost over a decade ago.”
"Our school bus workers care deeply about their students, who they transport safely to and from school each day. I'm glad that we could reach this strong deal that recognizes the important role our members play." said Local 1181 President/Business Agent Tomas Fret. "After almost a year of negotiations, the ATU has secured a contract that not only improves the lives of our hardworking members but also enhances the safety and reliability of school bus services for our communities."
The union is also negotiating agreements for mechanics and bus attendants.
“This is what we’ve been staying up at night about, really hoping to avert a strike. This negotiation has been going on for some time and, thank goodness, we seemingly have averted a strike,” Schools Chancellor David Banks told NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan Thursday morning. “I think this will be a big relief for so many of our parents.”
Banks said there are still some “small” negotiations that have to take place between the remaining bus contractors and the union, but he added that he “feels very confident that everybody else will be just fine.”
In a statement, the mayor's office said the agreement that has been reached will ensure continuity of service and peace of mind for more than 80,000 students and their families.
"When labor and management come to the table in a spirit of mutual cooperation, we can achieve meaningful results for all New Yorkers," the statement said.
Members of the union will vote on the deal in the coming weeks, according to ATU Local 1181.