On Bus Service - Updates

I heard on KUOW that SPS teachers may take a half-day walkout in support of bus drivers.  It was stated that it would likely be on Wednesday when there is a half-day of school so as to not interrupt student learning.  Keep this on your radar.

Also, from statement from First Student:

Over the holidays, First Student representatives spoke with Local 174 leadership multiple times. Based on these discussions, we redoubled our efforts to address the union’s stated objectives and priorities. 

We came to a tentative agreement with Local 174 leadership, but the offer was not ratified by union members. We are surprised and disappointed that our offer wasn’t accepted. 

In the agreed-upon proposal, we offered to provide comprehensive health benefits for all drivers and committed to pay 80 percent of the cost. Based on the monthly premium of $582, First Student would pay $466 and each employee would pay $116 – an annual benefit of more than $5,500 for each employee.  

These benefits are in addition to a significant wage increase and cash stipend that union members ratified in August 2016: 

·         A wage increase of up to 20 percent with a top wage of more than $24 per hour. 
·         An annual cash stipend of up to $1,920 for each employee who chooses to not receive healthcare benefits. 

Over the last four years, First Student has increased average wages by more than 38 percent. 

At First Student, we view ourselves as an integral part of the Seattle community. We understand the critical nature of our work, and we take great pride in what we do. 

We want to partner with Local 174 to ensure the best possible outcome for our drivers, our students and the community. Our goal is to reach an agreement that’s fair and equitable for all parties.


Anonymous said…
Okay, I'm sure I'm going to be shouted down, but I don't think a part-time job actually warrants full medical benefits for the entire family + a pension.

I think we should be single payer and our healthcare system is a joke, but until then healthcare is crazy expensive. It doesn't make sense that a person working part time would get this benefit. Not to mention retirement.

But I guess that's the allure of a government job. All the benefits! Meanwhile we can't fund anything because it's all going to paying for everyone's benefits (I know what I'm talking about, my father worked in government. He retired 10 years ago and gets a deluxe pkg. He's set for life from a manual labor job.)

But this isn't a govt job. It's a for profit company that contracted with SPS.

I really hope they don't strike.


Kid on Bus said…
If the part time job takes up so much time that you can't realistically also work another full time job that *would* provide benefits, the part time job is essentially full time. I agree that we need single payer. But we also need bus drivers who get their high blood pressure checked or see the doctor when they get these weird momentary blackouts, etc. Bus drivers are human beings and they drive around tons of metal filled with our children on busy streets in all weather conditions. They need access to health care because they're human beings AND they need access to health care because they are transporting my child on their bus and if they're distracted by their untreated (although treatable) depression, or pass out due to an inability to breath from untreated asthma or fail to brake due to sciatica or they have an aneurysm or a heart attack from unaddressed high blood pressure, it affects our children. Human beings need healthcare and until we implement single payer, employers need to provide it.
Anonymous said…
Oh I agree the bus drivers need health care. They are striking because they want their entire family covered + pension.


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