Announced tonight by Seattle Public Schools – bus drivers for First Student, with which the district contracts for yellow-bus service, are going on strike starting Thursday. SPS has no classes tomorrow because of the “day between semesters,” but school will be back in session Thursday regardless of transportation status. The drivers’ union, Teamsters Local 174, calls it an “unfair labor practice strike” and adds:
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 an inferior 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.
The district has posted answers to frequently asked questions on this page. The union, meantime, says it will have “active picket lines” outside First Student bus yards in South Park and Lake City.