by Richard A. Epstein
February 14, 2013
This past Wednesday, thousands of families have been dislocated by the decision of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union to initiate a school bus strike. Some 8,800 drivers and matrons, whose incomes average about $35,000 per year, went on strike, shutting down about 70 percent of the City’s 7,700 school bus routes. The dispute centers on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to introduce a system of competitive bids that would allow the City to find some lower-price providers. In short, the solution to the current problem is not for both sides to return to the bargaining table. Short-term fixes will not undo the long-term structural mistakes. The correct solution is to shut that bargaining table down and give the City the power to negotiate with the unions with the same degree of freedom that private employers have.