YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- Parents of thousands of students in Westchester County are breathing a sigh of relief after a school bus strike was averted.
The Transport Workers Union says a tentative deal has been reached with management.
Dozens of bus drivers, monitors and mechanics had rallied outside the First Mile Square Transportation depot in Yonkers Thursday morning. They had been without a contract since June.
"We're taking care of children," bus monitor Alisa Reiger said. "We have their lives in our hands. We put everything into keeping these children safe, and we deserve to be paid and compensated for that."
TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano announced the approximately 600 bus operators, matrons and mechanics will get raises and one paid sick day, bringing them parity with employees of other school bus companies in Westchester.
"There won't be a strike," Utano said. "In the end, it's all about the kids. We want to get them to school. That's our job. But we needed an agreement that was fair to our members."
The tentative contract agreement includes three annual raises for all workers of 3%, 3% and 3.5%
The previous contract expired June 30th. The new 3-year deal will be retroactive to July 1.
There remain some details to be hashed out but Utano said the buses would roll Monday morning.
The school bus workers currently do not get any paid sick leave. Bus operators currently earn $24 an hour while matrons earn approximately $13 an hour.
First Mile Square transports students in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Mamaroneck.
Transport Workers Union Local 100 represents more than 42,000 bus, subway and CitiBike workers in New York City and Westchester.
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School bus strike averted in Westchester County