SCHOOL-BUS STRIKE: First Student drivers plan one-day walkout Wednesday

2:17 PM: Just in from Seattle Public Schools: No yellow-school-bus service tomorrow (Wednesday, November 29th) because school-bus drivers plan a one-day strike. (Thanks to those who just called and texted to make sure we had heard!) Here’s the announcement on the SPS website:

The First Student bus drivers have stated they are going on a one-day strike, effective Wed., Nov. 29.

This means there will be no yellow school bus service on Wed., Nov. 29. Families will need to make other transportation arrangements to get their child to and from school.

We anticipate the First Student bus service will resume Thurs., Nov. 30.

We recognize the inconvenience this will have on Seattle families and have gathered answers to questions families may have.

You can read those answers on this page. As noted here back on Sunday night, this has been a possibility for months – the drivers, represented by Teamsters Union Local 174, have not reached agreement with First Student (who is their employer, not the district) on health and retirement issues.

ADDED 2:27 PM: Here’s the union’s announcement about the strike, which also describes it as a one-day action, and says picketing is planned Wednesday at two locations, including the big First Student bus yard in South Park (8249 5th Ave S.).

11 Replies to "SCHOOL-BUS STRIKE: First Student drivers plan one-day walkout Wednesday"

  • psps November 28, 2017 (3:34 pm)

    I’m sure there will be a lot of union bashing on here, so let me put this in perspective.

    First Student is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FirstGroup PLC in London.  They operate these yellow buses all over the place in the US and UK. Its president, Timothy T. O’Toole, will be paid the paltry sum of 1.9 million GBP this year ($2.54 million.)  They can certainly afford to settle the contract dispute with the drivers.

    • Mike November 28, 2017 (6:26 pm)

      and both parties should have done that long before it got to the point it’ll cost parents, the impact on families is extremely costly and could cost some their own jobs.  I feel for the school administration and faculty who have to suck up the cost, the parents who have to suck up the cost, the students who are pawns in a battle between an employer and union leaders, the drivers who will lose wages while not working (unless the union is paying them to strike).  This is ridiculous.  Students right to education is not a bargaining chip.  They’ve had months to settle this, they failed.  Typical, those that pay the sacrifice are never those benefiting.

      • Westseattler November 30, 2017 (12:17 am)

        Might be time to bid out to privately owned shuttle companies.  Are the buses always full? Shuttles have seat belts too!

  • Chris November 28, 2017 (5:52 pm)

    It seems you nipped that in the bud

  • WsParent November 28, 2017 (6:34 pm)

    I have not seen one number from the union on what their wages and benefits 20$ per hour? what i do know is they signed a contract with the school district to drive buses if they don’t like it get a job somewhere else. I’m missing part of work tomorrow because of this stunt. I probably make less than them so I’m not very sympathetic to them not getting a retirement package. 

    • psps November 28, 2017 (9:23 pm)

      “they signed a contract with the school district”

      The “they” you are referring to is First Student, not the bus drivers. The beef is between the drivers and their employer, First Student/FirstGroup and has nothing at all to do with the school district.  If FirstGroup would pay their employees properly instead of funneling millions into Otoole’s already-overflowing pockets, this wouldn’t be happening. Ah, the joys of privatizing public services.

    • Swede. November 28, 2017 (9:52 pm)

      Better change ‘career’ then! They are really ‘overpaid’ right?

  • Graciano November 28, 2017 (8:56 pm)

    First Student signed a contract with SPS, not the drivers.

    Call First Student and tell they to return to the negotiation table…

  • rob November 28, 2017 (9:14 pm)

     The plan that was offered to the drivers was like the worst plan ever. It would cost a driver with a family of four 2000 a month and at 20 dollare an hour thats maybe 785 a week take home you do the numbers

  • Brewmeister November 29, 2017 (8:52 am)

    Lack of good insurance?  Good thing we have the “Affordable Care Act”.  Shouldn’t be any problem at all for them to get “affordable” insurance.  It say’s it in the name,  “affordable”.   What’s the problem?

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