The long standing negotiations between the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association and the city are “firmly within the arbitration process now,” said Mayor Michelle Wu Tuesday during "Ask the Mayor" on Boston Public Radio.

Arbitration is the last ditch effort after both sides failed to negotiate a contract that includes reforms the Wu administration seeks. The city and the police union now each choose one arbitrator and pick another together. “So it's a little bit of a tug of war back and forth,” Wu said.

Once the arbitrators issue an award the final step is to submit it to the city council. But if arbitrators come back with a plan that doesn’t include the reforms the city is asking for, Wu said they could theoretically not present it to the city council.

BPR host Jim Braude questioned Wu on this, asking, “If one option was to not even present it to the city council, and you weren't happy with the arbitration award, you'd do that?”

“If it came back as just everything as is, but for certain dollar amount, that's right,” Wu replied.

Her goal during this round of arbitration is to address operational changes around sufficient family time off and officer health and well-being. Wu is also looking to revise the disciplinary system and police detail work requirements, which the union has resisted. Wu said historically disagreements between the city and the union focused mostly on salary levels, but her administration has pushed for wider reforms.

“There's a lot that ultimately comes back to supporting basic city services, having streets that are safe, neighborhoods that are cared for and officers who are healthy and supported in doing their jobs.”

Wu did not expand on what the next steps would be if the city council doesn’t finalize the award.

“I've said multiple times, I'm not going to sign a contract that doesn't include significant reform,” Wu said.

In addition to police reform, Wu addressed the ballot initiative approved by Attorney General Andrea Campbell that would remove MCAS standardized testing graduation requirements.

The initiative is sponsored by the Massachusetts Teacher’s Association, which does not represent teachers in Boston.

Wu said she supports graduation requirements to promote quality and consistency, but she understands where the push is coming from.

"For a long time we have created cycles of disinvestment in schools that are based on a one time snapshot that then has many, many repercussions," Wu said.

She said standardized tests do provide valuable information on larger trends, like how a class is performing, or whether a specific student needs extra attention.

Yet Wu refrained from saying whether she would vote to remove the MCAS requirement.

"I don't know ... what the statewide ramifications of that move would be," said Wu.