Minneapolis school bus drivers say they’re ready to strike

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — School bus drivers and dispatchers for Minneapolis Public Schools voted unanimously Saturday to go on strike if they can’t get what they want through mediation, the union said in a release.

About 100 Minneapolis Public Schools bus employees represented by Teamsters Local 320 say they are not being paid enough and are worried about safety and retention because of a shortage of drivers.

“If the District doesn’t increase its economic offer and address the other significant issues we’ve put on the bargaining table we have been authorized to engage in a full-scale work stoppage with active picket lines and ambulatory pickets at the schools,” union spokesman Brian Aldes said in a statement.

The workers cannot legally go on strike until 45 days after that first mediation session, which is scheduled for Dec. 1.

Minneapolis Public Schools officials say they are committed to reaching an agreement through mediation and will make sure that bus service for students is not interrupted.