ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The deadline is approaching for a new contract between Valley Metro and its union employees.

Members of the ATU Local 1493 held an informational picket on Thursday afternoon at the new Third Street Bus Station in Downtown Roanoke. They say they their current contract expired in July. At that time, the union and Valley Metro agreed to a sixth-month extension to negotiate a new deal. That extension runs out in January.

The union says First Transit, the company that runs Valley Metro, has not even started negotiations yet.

Ron Parker, the Assistant General Manager for Valley Metro told WFXR News that its employees are essential to its success, but it must operate in a fiscally responsible manner. He added that the company is willing to sit down with the union but they have not been able to agree on a date to begin negotiations.