Staten Island bus drivers have a snow day problem, according to New York City Transit. Based upon data from a few snowy days this February, more divers are calling in sick on snowy days, the Daily News reports today. According to Transit, more drivers than usual called in sick on February 9, the day of a major storm in the New York City area, and by the time the snow had settled, 88 drivers out of Castleton – or 21 percent of that depot’s drivers – had filed for a sick day, and 15 percent of drivers from Staten Island’s Yukon depot had done the same.
To fill these service gaps, the MTA had to turn to workers who collect overtime, and the cash-strapped authority isn’t too pleased with the potential sick-day abuse. “Clearly there are cases where people are taking advantage of sick-day policies, and when and where we are able, we’re going to go after those cases in a very serious way,” Jeremy Soffin, MTA spokesman, said to Pete Donohue.
Vinnie Serapiglia, a vice president at Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 726, defended drivers who life outside of the city and could have faced “tough commutes” back to their suburban houses in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. “I don’t understand the thinking of the transit authority. The guys come here and put their all into the job,” he said, “and it seems like they are constantly under attack by management.”