Seattle Bus Drivers Headed to Mediation
Saturday, February, 24, 2018
Seattle bus drivers and the bus company, First Student, will meet with a federal mediator in an attempt to end the ongoing school bus driver strike. The news of the mediation came after teachers staged a walkout in support of the drivers’ union at the intersection of MLK and Rainier Avenue South.
According to one teachers, “Obviously I think they should be doing more. Just because the district has subcontracted with somebody else does not mean that we do not also feel a responsibility that those people are taken care of in a way that they can be confident in their jobs secure in their jobs.
Other teachers agreed, stating they wanted more information about how the district is handling the strike and the negotiations.
The buses are responsible for transporting more than 12,000 students to and from school in the district. The company that operates the buses, is waiting for the drivers’ union to respond following its last offer.
According to First Student, the union refused to counteroffer and just went on strike.
Some believe the school district should be doing more to bring the two sides closer together on an agreement. But at the moment, First Student’s requests to the district have been ignored.
An official statement from the district issued recently said:
"First Student and the Teamsters Union 174 are private parties and are working with a federal mediator to resolve the contract issues. For now, the best course of action is urging both sides to work with the mediator and reach a fair resolution. ”
Now, both sides, as well as parents and teachers in the district, hope the dispute and the strike end soon.