Controversial Bonus Plan Comes Under Scrutiny

posted by Blain Ensley -

Democratic city council member Paul Vallone is asking to have the de Blasio administrations $136 million dollar NYC school bus drivers' seniority bonus plan investigated.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg had removed the seniority protection plan from the bus drivers' contracts during his administration, a move which saved NYC taxpayers millions of dollars.

Several City council members pushed back on the reinstatement of the proposal so instead of facing a rejected motion, Mayor de Blasio decided to go ahead with the plan without legislative approval.

The bonus program and the $136 million dollars will go to the bus company that wins the school bus contract. The bus company will then pick the most senior drivers from a central pool. The first drivers chosen will be the ones with the most seniority, who are the highest paid drivers in the city.

Reliant transportation, which is backed by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, currently holds the city's school bus contract.  Sources allege the union had participated in the crafting of the revitalized seniority bonus plan which was put in place by the de Blasio administration in 2014.

The bill was passed when a rare "message of necessity" was introduced on August 19th and passed on August 20th.

City Hall spokeswomen Freddi Goldstein said, "We trust the school-bus drivers to get our kids to school safely, which is why it's important that they're well-trained and paid a fair wage".

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

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