School and city officials in Boston are preparing for a second day of a school bus drivers' "wildcat" strike for today, Wednesday, Oct. 9, despite the drivers' union – United Steelworkers Local 8751 – disavowing the walkout and asking them to return to the job.
According to the Boston Public School's website, as of 5:30 a.m., "[i]t remains unclear whether bus drivers will return to work Wednesday and transport students to and from school."
Boston officials are now asking parents to plan to drive their students to school or plan alternative transportation for their students.
To help parents get to work on time, all Boston Public Schools will allow for early drop-off and open one hour prior to the normal start of school.
The MBTA will again offer free rides to any student. Students under the age of 11 must be accompanied on the MBTA by an adult.
The Boston Police Department and Boston Centers for Youth & Families will continue to coordinate closely with the School Department ensure safe drop-offs and pick-ups.
The Boston Public Schools Hotline: 617-635-9520 and the Mayor’s Hotline: 617-635-4500 will have extra staff on hand to answer calls.
Families can also use the "Where's My School Bus" tracker to find the location of their child's school bus if it is on the road at http://schoolbus.bostonpublicschools.org.
Just as on Tuesday, any student who cannot come to school Wednesday or who is late will be marked “excused.”
The union leadership has asked the nearly 700 striking drivers to return to work, according to Patrick Bryant, an attorney for the Steelworkers union.
But Bryant said it was unclear whether the employees would return to the job Wednesday, according to an article distributed by the Associated Press.
"We've asked the people to go back to work, so how can we predict?" he said. "I mean, the anticipation is that people would do that," Bryant said.
Schools officials said the walkout was prompted, in part, by the union's opposition to a GPS system that allows parents, using an app, to track buses online in real time.