Bus strike alters habits
If you are upset over the strike by Nortran bus drivers which went into effect September 8, you're not alone. Most students seem all but happy about walking or having their parents drive them to and from school.
Barbara '82 said, "It stinks. I have to walk about 2 miles to get to school."
John '80 complained, "I have to bike it to and from school and work."
Nortran assistant general manager and the president of the Local 1028 of the Transit Union, agreed that there would not be a settlement in the near future. The Nortran Board of Trustees refuses to negotiate until the drivers return to work. The bus drivers will not return to their routes until they get an increase in pay.
When asked her opinion of the strike, Lisa '81 replied, "I don't think it's fair for the drivers to inconvenience kids and parents to get their raise."
Ann '79 said, "It makes it difficult for people who don't have a car to get to school."
Joe '70 gave his opinion: "It's an inconvenience for people who can't drive to school, but I think the bus drivers are right, because they do the same job as the CTA so they should be paid as much."
Nortrans's assistant general manager pointed out that a strike by public employees like the bus drivers, is illegal, but so far the board of trustees have not pressed charges on the strikers. In response to this, the union president stated that Nortran was breaking the law by refusing to negotiate their contract.
When asked if there were any plans to help the 35-40 percent of Maine South students who take the bus, Mr. Simonson, the Assistant Principal, stated, "We couldn't do much more than post a list of people willing to car pool in order to aid students in getting to school. Renting buses would be too expensive."
So, while Nortran officials and bus drivers sit with their feet up, you better hope for warm weather.