The following statement was released by the City of Boston on Tuesday afternoon, October 8, 2013 regarding the bus driver strike and contingency plans by Boston Public Schools.
Bus Drivers Intentions for Tomorrow Remain Uncertain: City Asks Parents to Plan Alternative Transportation for Students
ALL Boston Public Schools will open one hour early tomorrow
Boston Public Schools reported 82% attendance today, approximately 10% below average
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston Public Schools Superintendent John McDonough this evening joined the City’s crisis response team to provide an update regarding the illegal work stoppage of Boston school bus drivers aimed at disrupting service to more than 33,000 Boston students.
“Our young people should not be hurt because of selfish people who only want to cause disruption in our City,” Mayor Menino said. “Our parents are stronger and our school community is stronger than this union may think and we will continue to make sure all safety standards are met. Eighty-two percent of our students were in class today – and tomorrow school will be open once again.”
“This has been a day that has tested us as a school community,” Superintendent McDonough said. “Parents truly have been heroes today. Principals, teachers and staff, Boston Police, the Mayor’s Office and so many others have gone above and beyond to help students get to school. The drivers may have staged an illegal action and stopped the buses, but it will not stop the business of teaching and learning in the City of Boston.”
School Plans for Tomorrow
It remains unclear whether bus drivers will return to work tomorrow and transport students to and from school. The City is asking parents to plan to drive their students to school or plan alternative transportation for their students.
To help parents get to work on time ALL Boston Public Schools will allow for early drop-off and open one hour prior to the normal start of school. The MBTA will again offer free rides to any student. Students under the age of 11 must be accompanied on the MBTA by an adult.
The Boston Police Department and Boston Centers for Youth & Families will continue to coordinate closely with the School Department ensure safe drop-offs and pick-ups.
Parents should visit the School Department website: bostonpublicschools.org for the latest updates. The Boston Public Schools Hotline: 617-635-9520 and the Mayor’s Hotline: 617-635-4500 will have extra staff on hand to answer calls this evening and tomorrow morning.
Just as today, any student who cannot come to school tomorrow or who is late will be marked “excused.”
Veolia Transportation this afternoon went to Federal Court to seek an immediate emergency injunction against the union and their illegal action. The Federal Court has not yet granted that injunction. If drivers do not return to work tomorrow the City and Veolia Transportation will continue to pursue all legal actions available, including monetary damages against the union and those who have participated in this illegal action.