Parents band together as Seattle school bus strike enters second day

Members of Teamsters 174 picket during a Seattle school bus strike (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- Parents can expect more gridlock Friday as bus driver strikes continue at Seattle public schools.

About a dozen Teamsters were out on the pickup line Friday morning instead of behind the wheel of school buses on their way to pick up students.

Teamsters 174 says no progress has been made on benefit negotiations with bus contractor First Student. Drivers are seeking better retirement benefits and affordable health care that extends to family members.

The latest offer to be rejected would have extended health care coverage to families of just the drivers who work full time.

Meanwhile, as the strike continues, parents were working together to get their children to school on time.

"This sort of speaks to the power of the community," said Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman. "I'm picking up several children, and another parent is picking up my son at another school."

About 50 drivers crossed the picket line and rolled out of the bus lot on their normal routes Thursday -- about 25 percent of the buses that are running. But most drivers are honoring the strike.

First Student says it has no plans to bring in replacement drivers, but are hopeful enough employees will choose to cross the picket lines.

Meanwhile, Seattle teachers could soon be joining the driver strike. The Seattle Education Association says its members will walk out in solidarity next Wednesday afternoon after students are dismissed.

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