By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jun 30, 2015 at 8:20 PM

All Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus service will be suspended as of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, because of a strike authorized by members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998.

According to WISN, the ATU members will not report to work for 72 hours, but will return at 3 a.m. on Saturday.

"The ATU leaders called for a work stoppage despite significant attempts and concessions from MCTS during a daylong negotiation session," said MCTS spokesperson Brendan Conway in a statement.

The ATU says they are opposed to plans to hire more part-time (vs. full-time) drivers. The ATU has said it is also bargaining for increased bathroom breaks and to have security concerns addressed.

In an attempt to avoid a strike, MCTS says it made some concessions to the union today, including: a matching $1,000 Flexible Spending Account for employees to help offset increases in healthcare costs; capping the amount of part-time drivers MCTS will hire; and some flexibility for how mechanics use their personal time.

"Despite numerous recent statements from union leaders that their contract dispute was not over money, the union came to the bargaining table today to ask for $8 million in increased wages," said MCTS.

MCTS provides on average 150,000 rides a day to people across Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties.

"The Milwaukee County Transit System is a critical tool for economic development and self-sufficiency, and I am proud of our record of maintaining routes and excellent service without raising fares," said County Executive Chris Abele in a statement.

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