FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Dozens of Fresno bus drivers are threatening to strike on Monday unless the city addresses their concerns by Sunday night.

Workers point to changes to their overtime pay and a policy about bus video surveillance as their biggest issues.

“The leadership of ATU is recommending a rejection of the city’s best and final offer,” said Alfredo Molina, ATU (Amalgamated Transit Union) Local 1027 treasurer.

On Friday, the union a press conference announcing plans to strike on Monday unless the city comes back with a better proposal.

“Drivers are asking for a fair contract. You call us heroes and essential workers, but this is not how essential workers deserve to be treated,” said union president Luis Montoya.

Around 250 employees would take part in the strike.

“They’re trying to have their overtime taken from them in a manner that helps them feed their families and it’s one of the only things that gives them hope to be able to continue these jobs,” said Dillon Savory, executive director of the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council. “They’re being asked to be on surveillance 24/7. What other career are asked to be under surveillance 24/7.”

Buses currently have cameras recording all day; Mayor Jerry Dyer says their proposal actually limits how that video is watched.

“This contract that we are providing limits management’s right to review the video to 30 minutes before a triggering event, and 30 minutes after a triggering event,” he said.

A triggering event could be an accident or a customer complaint, for example. The mayor says a third party can review additional video, explaining this is already possible without the proposed contract.

“That could be law enforcement if there’s a crime that occurs. It could be risk management if there’s any type of claim filed against the city.”

The union is also unhappy about plans to change overtime pay. It currently applies to anyone who works longer than eight hours in a day – or a sixth day in a week. Instead the new contract would define overtime as working more than 40 hours in a week.

Dyer says the change is designed to reduce unscheduled absences and canceled routes.

“A bus driver can call in – unscheduled leave – on a Monday, and then come in on a Saturday and work for overtime [because of sick pay]. And that has become a culture that we’re trying to break.”

The proposed rule change would only apply to people hired after July 1st of this year.

Workers insist there is a disconnect between city leadership and bus drivers.

“We know that the department head, in this case, the people negotiating this contract do not know what it is like to be on a FAX bus. They don’t know what it’s like to drive for a living, what it’s like to deal with the challenges that these workers deal with,” said Savory.

The union has support from Fresno City Councilmember Mike Karbassi. In a statement issued Friday evening, Karbassi wrote that the bus drivers are what ensures city residents get to anywhere they need to go.

“I will continue to stand with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) in their pursuit of an equitable contract.”

City officials say the proposed contract also offers a 15% to 20% raise over the next three years (giving drivers the highest pay of any bus driver in the Central Valley from Stockton to Bakersfield), proposes better health benefits and adds an additional eight hours of holiday leave.