By Janee Law
A bus strike could hit the Northport-East Northport and Commack school districts as early as Monday if union drivers vote down Saturday a new contract offer from bus operator Baumann & Sons Buses Inc. and its affiliate ACME Corp.
Bauman proposed its “last, best and final” offer to Teamsters Local 1205, which is seeking pay raises and better working conditions, on Oct. 8 and said it will no longer negotiate with the union.
The union has been without a contract since June and has been negotiating with Baumann through a federal mediator.
In its latest offer, Baumann proposed a three-year deal in which it would increase overall employee spending by 12-14 percent.
To guarantee that the proposal is presented thoroughly, Baumann requested that a federal mediator be present on voting day.
In the event of a strike, which involves 800 buses and 1,200 workers across Long Island, the transportation of thousands of students will be affected, including those in the Northport-East Northport and Commack school districts, President of Teamsters Local 1205 Timothy Lynch said in early September.
Northport-East Northport and Commack school districts have posted an update to their websites, informing parents that Baumann and Teamsters Local 1205 have not come to an agreement and that the union is scheduled to vote on a proposal Saturday. Contingency transportation plans are still posted to the districts’ websites, and urge parents to continue to check back for future updates.
Northport-East Northport also added to its announcement, updated Oct. 12, that if the union does not accept Baumann’s offer, or if votes are low, union workers might strike as early as Monday, Oct. 19.