Several New York labor unions are in conflict over a proposed bill that passed the state legislature. Amalgamated Transit Union 1181, representing school bus drivers, supports the Employee Protection Provision (EPP) bill, which they say would protect drivers’ wages, seniority and benefits even when bus routes change hands. The bill reinstates rights that had previously been stripped from bus workers in 2011, specifically protecting compensation and seniority after a new bus company is contracted to take over a specific route.
The bill passed both legislative houses and is waiting on a decision from Governor Andrew Cuomo. While the school bus drivers’ union actively supports the legislation, two other major unions have spoken out in opposition. Transport Workers Union Local 100 and Joint Council 16 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters called on Cuomo to reject the bill. They say that only one sector of the school bus workforce at only one company is protected by the legislation, leaving younger workers’ jobs at risk. Specifically, they say that drivers who have been employed after 2011 are at risk of being bumped in favor of older drivers even though they may now have held those jobs for seven or eight years themselves.
In addition, the opposition unions say that the school bus workforce is much more diverse than it was in 2011 and that current school bus drivers reflect the communities that they serve. However, some parents agreed with the school bus drivers’ union that more experienced drivers on the job before 2011 would provide safer transit for their kids.
While unions strive to represent the interests of their members and fellow workers, they can also come into conflict with one another. An experienced legal team specializing in union representation may help labor unions protect the workers they represent in conflicts with management or other sectors.
Source: amNewYork, “School bus drivers seek bill in conflict with other unions,” Todd Maisel, Nov. 19, 2019