Deal reached in strike of Seattle school bus drivers

KOMO file photo

SEATTLE -- The strike of Seattle school bus drivers may be over, and buses could hit the streets again on Monday.

The Teamsters and the school bus company announced the tentative agreement Friday afternoon. The strike started Feb. 1. Health coverage and pension issues were main issues that sparked the strike by drivers, who are represented by the Teamsters.

Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks and First Student Senior Director Kim Mingo released the following statement Friday:

“We are pleased to announce that First Student and Teamsters Local 174 leadership have come to terms on a fully recommended tentative agreement. We are confident that this contract will be ratified by union membership."

Union members will vote at 10 a.m. Saturday on the deal. If the contract is ratified, bus service could resume Monday.

As many as 12,000 students ride the buses.

Hicks and Mingo said:

"The agreement provides an expanded benefits package and comprehensive health care coverage for our Seattle Public Schools yellow bus drivers and families. We feel strongly that this deal meets the goals set by all parties in these negotiations."

Seattle Public Schools released a statement via Twitter that said in part: "...We appreciate the efforts by both parties to settle so that yellow buses will run as soon as possible."

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