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Chelsea IrizarryNov 8, 2017, 4:03 pmNov 9, 2017, 1:23 pm

School bus drivers walk the picket line for 3rd consecutive day, affecting 4 Nassau districts

Union says negotiations with bus company won’t resume until Friday morning


OCEANSIDE — The union strike affecting bus drivers who serve four Nassau County school districts entered its third day Wednesday.

Contentious scenes broke out whenever a driver crossed the picket line to head into work or to drive a bus away.

President of Transport Workers Union Local 252 Debra Hagan said each of the Nassau school districts that are affected by the strike have been reaching out to her. She said they are wondering when the strike might be over. However, she added that negotiations on Tuesday night with Baumann Bus Company involving a federal mediator did not go well.

"We spent over 10 hours at the bargaining table, if you want to call it a bargaining table," Hagan said.

Hagan said, in her opinion, it does not appear that Baumann is concerned about losing its contract with her union, a contract that expired in June. And instead of trying to figure things out by negotiating on Wednesday, she says the Baumanns agreed to meet on Friday morning and only for four hours.

"No concern about settling this! None whatsoever! The first proposal was insulting. The last one was almost identical to that first one," Hagan added.

The four Nassau County school districts that are affected include Hicksville, Freeport, Baldwin and Rockville Centre.

"Some of the parents now have to get up a little earlier to drive their kids to school … and I mean, it's just like an inconvenience," said student Dan Sterns.

At South Side High School in Rockville Centre, the situation has become somewhat better. That's because the district now has a contingency plan in place that involves using different bus companies along with whatever buses they can get from Baumann. However, that would only cover about 60 percent of the students that are transported by the district.

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