Saturday, December 10, 2005

A question...

IF there were to be a transit strike - and I don't think there will be, we've come close before and it's in everyone's best interests to avoid one - how would the DOE handle it? Many kids and many teachers rely on public transit to get to school. I would probably stay with a collague who drives, at least for a day or two. But what about those people who don't have that option? If they couldn't get to school, or couldn't get to school until very late, would it count as a normal absence or lateness?

This was a hot topic of conversation among two different groups of teachers that I spent time with this week.

11 Comments:

Blogger your math teacher said...

It's definitely an important question. The NYC Dept is notorious for almost never closing schools. Other than that one snow day on the Monday after the blizzard of '95, the only other time schools were closed (that I remember in my lifetime) was back in the early '90s. Schools were closed until late September because of asbsetos in many of the buildings. I remember it fondly because it was like having almost 3 months of summer vacation.

I think Bloomkie's emergency plan would be to hire outside bus companies to shuttle students to school. He could mobilize the cabbies too, I suppose. As for the lateness vs. absence, I think if you are more than 2.5/3 hours late, you are considered to be absent. I'm not sure of the exact number though.

Somehow I doubt Bloomkie would be very understanding if teachers were late/absent to school because of the transit strike. He would probably expect us to sleep in cots at our schools overnight.

I don't know how it's going to turn out but the mta is demanding an 8% per year raise. I doubt Bloomkins will agree to shell out that kind of $.

It's kind of interesting that the transit union is taking a more serious stance on striking, pay, and no givebacks than the teachers' union. It makes me feel like our union does not hold much power at all.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Institutional Memory said...

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

If past experience is a guide, the heads of the MTA and the Union will sit down and bang out a last-minute deal. If they're close as the deadline looms, they'll stop the clock and keep talking.

Unlike the teachers' fiasco, er, negotiations, all the interested parties have respect for one another, and there's actually a measure of good faith at the table, despite what the Post says.

There were no special considerations for teachers or students during past transit strikes, nor should we expect any this time. They'll probably find a way to make us look bad for something we have no involvement in.

Bottom line: A transit strike is unlikely, but there is great solidarity among the transit workers, and they'll walk if their leadership says to walk.

I'd guess that the odds are about 5-to-1 that they'll settle.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

There was a snow day during Winter of '01 and another one in '02, during Regents week but I digress.

In any case, the last time I looked at NYCENET, there was no mention of a contingency plan in the event of a strike. Of course not.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they strike, and I applaud them for standing up for what they believe, you will have to take a car service or cab and don't expect to get reimbursed by the DOE. (Book ahead of time because car services will be getting more calls than they usually handle, just like on snow days). If you know someone who drives to work, you can carpool.

Parents will also have to find alternative means.

I really think however they will reach a settlement.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not understand why some many posts have such a whiny flavor. Maybe it's just me but when people talk about school closings and the BOE, there is always a negative attitude. Think about the responsibilty of the person who closes school for one day, let alone two or even three. Remember for a moment please, that a huge proportion of our students are eligible for free lunches which means that their households are at poverty level. Then consider that free lunch schools serve breakfast and lunch. Also, many of those same schools have snack and dinner serving after-school programs.

Now, back to the person who closes the schools. If you close the schools in NYC, you are simultaneously cancelling breakfast, lunch and possibly dinner for the 1.1 million students AND maybe their daytime supervision at home as well. The poor do work.

I am sure as hell glad I do not have to deal with that.

Transit strike? Everyone will deal in this city like they always do--they bear down and tough it out. Come on, you know you moved here or stayed here because you don't get the same buzz if you worked in Detroit, Chicago, DC or LA!?!. Working here has the same appeal. Perfect? No.

These crisiis or situations are necessary for us to rethink our lives. They force us out of daily habits and change us. They are neither predictable or unstoppable.
Speculate all you want. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Works for me.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's just you.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Retired teacher said...

During the transit strike in 1966 those of us who made it in to work during the first week were granted an additional sick day for each day we reported and those hwo could not get in were not penalized. During the second week days that were missed came out of sick banks. The 1980 strike took place mostly during Easter vacation and after the vacation ended we lost sick days if we didn't get to work and got no "bonus" days if we did. What they'll do this time around is anyone's guess.

11:13 PM  
Blogger An Educational Voyage said...

Bloomie has already mandated carpooling for lower and mid town in Manhattan. Try to scrounge up carpools with teachers at work ahead of time. Most folks are willing to pitch in. However, some are not so eager to get involved. A colleague of mine, drove someone, they slipped on the pavement after getting out of his car and sued him because, and I quote, "You have insurance to pay for my suffering!" This was a huge unnecessary complication in his life and had to deal with her every day.

It may be an isolated case, but I mention it so people don't get hostile if someone does not want to drive people they don't know too well. I never minded, but that's just me.

It probably won't come to a strike, but fore warned is fore armed! Plan ahead just in case!

Good luck!

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was announced today that if there is a strike, there will be a 2 hour delay for schools. (However that may be for students only.)

To the person who calls us whinny, not all teachers can afford a car if they live in the city. Car service is very expensive and we will not be reimbursed. We depend on the city buses and trains to get us around. Car service can costs up to $40 or more (one way) if the ride is 20 minutes away. One borough to another is even more. That's $80 per day. Maybe where you live this is play money.
How do you think the "working poor" will get to work? They cannot afford cabs either.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Where did you hear that there would be a 2 hour delay for schools? I checked at nycenet.edu, uft.org and the NYTimes. I couldn't find anything.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nani,

It was announced on the local news.
I was flipping back and forth so I can't remember which one.

9:31 PM  

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