SEATTLE — School bus drivers here reached an agreement with contractor First Student and went back to work on Monday, ending a nine-day strike.
Teamsters Union Local 174, the union that represents the Seattle Public Schools bus drivers, and First Student reached a tentative agreement on a contract on Friday. The contract includes an expanded health benefits package and health care coverage for bus drivers who work for the contractor and for their families, according to a news release from First Student.
The union noted on its website that the new contract includes a Teamster pension plan for the drivers, and that the plan is the first to have been obtained for contracted school bus drivers in the city “and possibly the entire country for First Student members.”
The 400 drivers in the union voted to accept the contract on Saturday, The Spokesman-Review reports.
“We are deeply appreciative to all who have worked to ensure educational continuity during this time,” Seattle Public Schools stated on its website. “Mostly, we thank our families for their patience as negotiations between First Student and the union reached this conclusion.”
In a joint statement, officials with First Student and Teamsters Local 174 said that although the agreement “took longer than we had hoped, what brings us all together is our shared commitment to provide safe and reliable transportation for Seattle Public Schools students and families.”