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NY Bus Drivers Do A Spit Take

By Wyatt Earp | May 27, 2010

And by “take,” I mean they take advantage of policy designed to help injured workers. This story should shock me, but it’s New York, so . . .

Thanks to a bizarre MTA policy and a union contract, city bus drivers are taking an average of two months off each time a rider spits on them. This was revealed at an MTA committee meeting today where officials explained that they define an “assault” on a driver broadly enough to include getting spit on.

Under the drivers’ contract, each time they are assaulted they are entitled to take sick time to recover.

Last year 51 bus operators reported they were spit on and got to take an average of 64 days off, MTA officials said.

Lovely. Believe it or not, the department has a similar rule with coding assaults against police. If an officer is spit upon (or spit at), it is considered an aggravated assault. Sometimes the charge is justified – when the person has HIV or some other disease – but most of the time, the officers “embellish” the injury, and that drives me insane.

The folks who use the MTA should be equally incensed.

Topics: Duct Tape Advisory | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “NY Bus Drivers Do A Spit Take”

  1. Jon Brooks Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Why am I reminded of the beans and chewing tobacco scenes from “Blazing Saddles”?

    I can even see a day or two for the driver to calm down
    enough so as not to want to run over everything that moves after being spit on, but 64 days average??!!
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

  2. Dannytheman Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Ditto on the Whisky Tango Foxtrot! I can’t even take the 31 days I get each year.

  3. Randal Graves Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 8:29 am

    One driver took 191 days!!!!

  4. Wagonsux Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 8:30 am

    A person who spits on a cop can not be forced to undergo testing for diseases. So, the cop must complete a long, time consuming, series of tests to make sure he/she was not contaminated. While the tests will not cost the cop out of pocket, often times they are done on his own time. I think an assault charge for spitting is appropriate. Since Police, among other professions, are in a protected class, the charge is Aggravated Assault.

    Do cops embellish? No more than anyone else. But that is your job to get through the bullshit. If you feel the cop is not being 100% truthful, call him on it. Your name has to go on the ’49. I won’t put my name on anything I’m not comfortable with.

    I don’t agree with all the time off a bus driver gets for being spit on. That’s a policy that needs to be looked into.

  5. John D Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Only in America.

  6. proof Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 9:32 am

    If I were a bus driver, I think I would pay one of my friends to spit on me, if no one else did, at least once a year for those kind of bennies!

  7. metoo Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    And these large cities can’t figure out why their budgets are out of control and in the red. Really??? Gosh, could it be because a bit of saliva lands you 64 days of paid Pina Coladas and cabana boys????

  8. Watuschskie Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Any jerk who spits on a cop should get the death penalty!

  9. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Put the drivers behind plexiglass.
    Problem solved.

  10. Jon Brooks Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Hmmm..drivers under glass. It sounds like a tasty treat for the zombie invasion.

    “Send more paramedics, and..oh yah..bus drivers”

  11. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Jon – Two months vacation, and they see no problem with that.

    Danny – We accumulate 10 hours a month. I have never been close to using all of them.

    Randal – Insane, ain’t it?

    Wagonsux – I should have been more clear. My issue is with the cops who claim assault when someone spits on their shirt, or slurs when they’re drunk.

    John D – And New York.

    Proof – Why not? The taxpayers are paying for it.

    MeToo – Mmm . . . cabana boys. Oh, I’ve said too much.

    Watuschskie – In the face? Sure. On a shirt? Meh.

    Mrs. Crankipants – It’s genius!


  12. Ingineer66 Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Average 64 days Holy cow. One of my guys got hit by a car driven by a drunk driver and we gave him the rest of the night off, but he was back at work on Monday night.

  13. Old NFO Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Unions strike again…