A February 19 strike by Paratransit drivers that would bring BRTA bus service to a halt across the Berkshires has been delayed.

Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Administrator Robert Malnati released a statement yesterday which, according to iberkshires.com, said that a federal mediator would like to meet with the BRTA on February 21, and asked the drivers to hold off on their walkout.

Drivers for Paratransit Management of the Berkshires had previously turned down the company's "best and final offer" and voted to strike next Monday. Although the contract issue is with the paratransit drivers which drive on-call buses for the elderly and disabled, they are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 404, the same union as the fixed route drivers. So according to Malnati, a strike would be honored by all B-bus drivers, mechanics and maintenance staff.

Malnati also pointed out that in the event of a strike, the Intermodal Center in Pittsfield would remain open and Greyhound, Peter Pan and Amtrak lines would still stop there.



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