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First Day of School Scheduled as Normal Despite Potential Bus Strike in Worcester

Schools in Worcester, Massachusetts will be opening on Monday morning as expected despite ongoing negotiations with bus drivers, according to Mayor Joseph Petty. 

The Teamsters tell NBC Boston they've been without a contract since December and they were considering striking on Monday. They mayor stepped in and successfully avoided the situation.

Mayor Petty released a statement regarding the strikes stating, "I have offered to work with both sides to find a fair and equitable solution to this ongoing contract dispute." 

This impacts about 130 bus drivers who operate the smaller buses used for special education students and teen moms.

Durham School Services said they are willing to negotiate terms with union representatives. They  have made themselves avilable to meet Monday at 9:30 a.m. with the school.

School representatives hope to formalize an agreement as quickly as possible. 

The fight is over wages, health care, retirement benefits and disciplinary action.

The bus drivers and monitors have turned down the last two offers.

Durham School Services is the bus company that hires the bus drivers. The company says they're hopeful on a new deal, according to Kate Walden, a company spokeswoman.

"While progress has been made in the negotiations, we must reconvene to formalize an agreement. We have and will continue to bargain in good faith and have local, regional and corporate resources onsite to get to a resolution as quickly as possible," Walden wrote in a statement to NBC Boston.

The bus drivers who operate the larger buses do have a contract, but they likely will not cross the picket line if there's a strike.

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