Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages (D – Lawrence) joined with transit workers on Wednesday, July 27 to urge Transdev, the operator of Nassau County’s NICE Bus public transit system, to improve the pay and retirement benefits for the bus operators and mechanics who are instrumental in keeping Nassau Inter-County Express buses on the road day after day.
During a press conference outside the NICE Bus depot in Uniondale, Solages renewed his call for Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman to work with Transdev to revisit the packages that were provided to these employees prior to 2011 and take steps to ensure that these essential transit employees receive competitive compensation and pension packages.
“The employees I have referenced have been transporting our residents and commuters throughout the County for decades, through rain, hail, sleet, snow, and an unprecedented pandemic,” Solages wrote in a Tuesday, July 19 letter to County Executive Blakeman. “On a daily basis, they meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations and make sure that every traveler can access businesses, stores, parks and healthcare services in our County. However, despite their tireless efforts, many of these same crucial transit employees are struggling to make ends meet.”
The issue, Solages and transit workers said, is that Transdev employees have been negatively impacted by a decline in compensation and pension benefits since the privatization of Long Island Bus in 2011. They agree that steps must be taken to correct this decline.
“Now more than ever, we must do everything we can to help our transit workers during a time of record high inflation, increased costs of food, utilities, and rent, and an unrelenting infectious disease,” Legislator Solages said. “Our NICE Bus employees are caretakers, taxpayers, and valued members of our community. They deserve to be heard, respected, and compensated fairly. Without them, Nassau County would not be the successful municipality it is today.”