THE BRONX - A citywide school bus strike has moved into a third day, with drivers and matrons showing no sign of getting back on the road.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 say they get paid about $28 an hour while on the job, but are only receiving about $150 a week from the union. Many say the strike is already taking its toll, and they'll have to stretch their salaries to make ends meet.

The drivers first walked off the job Wednesday in a fight for job security under the Employee Protection Provision, which they want included in new contract agreements come June.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting the contracts up for competitive bidding for the first time in 30 years in an effort to keep costs down. He insists his hands are tied because of a Court of Appeals ruling that makes including the provision illegal.

Protesters say they'll picket every day, including weekends, to ensure they get the job protection they want.

Many affected students have received temporary MetroCards, and reimbursements will be available for parents who drive their kids to school or use a car service.