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New York school bus drivers announce strike plan

From Lawrence Crook III, CNN
January 15, 2013 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • School bus drivers union will strike Wednesday if it doesn't reach deal with New York City
  • More than 150,000 students in city would be affected by a strike
  • Union officials say they seek job security; Mayor Bloomberg has opened some routes for bid

(CNN) -- New York City officials are preparing to transport more than 150,000 students after a school bus drivers union announced that it is planning to strike this Wednesday if an agreement can't be reached.

Union officials representing Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, who are seeking job security, announced Monday afternoon that they plan to strike on Wednesday if they can't reach a suitable agreement with the city.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg bid out contracts for nearly 1,100 bus routes currently handled by Local 1181 drivers. Last year, the city bid out contracts for preschool bus routes, and the new contracts will save taxpayers $95 million over five years.

Bloomberg on Monday urged the union to avoid going on strike and added that a strike would "jeopardize the education and safety of more than 150,000 students who take school buses every single day, in a year when our students have already missed a week or more of school because of Hurricane Sandy."

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