Teamsters Local 174 school bus drivers will be on strike starting Feb. 1
Beginning Thursday morning, February 1, Teamsters Local 174 school bus drivers at First Student in Seattle will be on Unfair Labor Practice strike. The strike by the group of 400 First Student school bus drivers will likely impact all yellow bus service to the Seattle School District, and will last until a deal is reached with First Student the union said in a statement online today.
The union said it does not normally give advance notice of strikes, but wanted parents to be able make arrangements regarding their children.
The drivers have been in ongoing negotiations with First Student over healthcare and retirement benefits since last summer. They participated in a one-day Unfair Labor Practice strike on November 29 after their employer unilaterally implemented a healthcare plan that had not been negotiated with the Teamsters. This strike received a great deal of support from the Seattle community. Since then, First Student has not resolved any of the Unfair Labor Practices they had previously committed, including the unilateral implementation of the substandard healthcare plan.
First Student released a statement late Tuesday, stating that its most recent offer was not voted on.
“We are extremely disappointed that Teamsters Local 174 leadership refused to bring the new contract offer to our drivers for a vote.
The deal on the table, we believe, is fair and equitable to all parties. The proposed contract contains an expanded benefits package, now including comprehensive health care coverage for all full-time drivers and their families, and all part-time employees would have comprehensive health care coverage with First Student covering 80 percent of annual premiums. The contract also includes a 401(k) retirement plan with company match, and a top wage of $24+ per hour.
We care deeply about our drivers, and feel strongly that this deal reflects that. It’s extremely unfortunate that union leadership won’t let its members consider the deal on its merits."