YUMA, AZ - Labor negotiations between YCAT and the bus drivers union have come to an end Wednesday afternoon.
The bus drivers union tells KSWT News 13 workers will not go on strike even though they authorized one if the union couldn't reach a new labor deal by tonight.
We do not know why both sides left the negotiating table without a deal. The bus drivers union will only say all 32 drivers and mechanics will still stay on the job while the union and YCAT continue to negotiate a labor contract behind the scenes.
For thousands of riders it's a big sigh of relief. At Arizona Western College today, signs were already posted warning students that a possible strike could take place, possibly leaving hundreds of students without a ride to school.
Isaac Iniguez, an AWC student, had already planned for the worst. "Definitely will try to get there a lot sooner so I can make it to my Tuesday/Thursday class in the morning. Other than that, going back home, I'm just going to tell people 'I'm going to be late, going to be late,'" said Iniguez.
But late this afternoon word slowly leaked that the bus drivers union and YCAT failed to reach an agreement before Wednesday night's deadline.
However, the union says it will continue to negotiate a deal with YCAT that includes a pay raise, better health care benefits, and a five-day, 40-hour work week.
As for going on strike? The union says its drivers will continue to work while the two sides work out a deal. KSWT News 13 has learned YCAT and the bus drivers union will meet again March 15 and 16 in Phoenix to see if they can iron out a deal. Both sides have been negotiating since last June.
Again, it will be business as usual for YCAT come Thursday. Busses will run on a regular schedule.
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