MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Strike imminent for delivery truck drivers with Seattle Public Schools

May 19, 2021, 12:23 PM

Seattle schools, strike, exemption...

The Seattle Public Schools Board released information from their budgeting meeting at the end of January in which they detail a plan to cut costs by shutting down some schools. (Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Seattle school buses could be slowed or stopped by a Teamsters strike if mediation fails between the union and the school district.

State DOH urges schools to reopen fully by fall as Seattle starts planning

Fifteen truck drivers who make deliveries for the district say work with a state mediator Tuesday has failed to find agreement on a new contract and resolve outstanding issues.

Members of Teamsters Local 174, the union that represents the drivers, have authorized a strike, which means one can be called at any time. The union says it is informing the public about this situation due to the potential for disruption to students attending school in the district. They say if a strike happens, First Student school bus drivers would have the right to refuse to cross the picket line.

The main sticking point, according to the union, is the district’s refusal to value the work their employees perform, “work that has proven to be dangerous, as the workgroup of 15 truck drivers has already experienced two COVID-19 outbreaks.” The group has continued to work throughout the pandemic.

“Enough is enough — it’s time for the Seattle School District to get serious about showing they appreciate the hardworking Teamsters who risk their health day after day to take care of Seattle schoolchildren,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “The current log jam could be easily rectified if management demonstrated to our members that they value the work they perform. It would be a major inconvenience to the families of the Seattle School District if they force us to take this fight to the street in the form of a work stoppage. I hope it does not come to that, but our members are not going to back down and settle for less than they deserve.”

Back to school but not back to normal

Seattle Public Schools says it has been bargaining in good faith with the Teamsters and are “negotiating a new contract for 15 drivers.” There’s another meditation session scheduled for next week.

“We value our staff and are committed to continuing to engage in mediation to arrive at a positive outcome for students, staff, and families,” the district media relations specialist told KIRO Radio.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: A deputy's body camera captured a runaway wallaby in Parkland....

Julia Dallas

Runaway wallaby hops out of arms reach of deputies in Parkland

 A wallaby was caught on camera running around Parkland Sunday morning. Pierce County deputies and WSP responded.

11 minutes ago

seattle sex trafficking...

Frank Sumrall

Seattle resident arrested for sex trafficking in San José

A San José special operations unit arrested a Seattle resident last week on suspicion of alleged commercial sex trafficking.

4 hours ago

5-car crash sr 900...

Frank Sumrall

Mustang causes 5-car crash on SR 900 after veering onto oncoming traffic

A 5-car crash on State Route 900 (SR 900) in Renton Sunday led to four injured individuals, a five-hour highway backup and a brush fire.

6 hours ago

Photo: Neighbors in Mount Vernon are being praised for saving young kids from a burning home....

Samantha Lomibao, KIRO 7

Neighbors in Mount Vernon save young kids home alone from burning house

Neighbors in Mount Vernon are being praised for saving young kids from a burning home. The fire sparked on June 3.

19 hours ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret...

Julie Carr Smyth, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Michael Balsamo, Eric Tucker and Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump called for unity and resilience after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign.

19 hours ago

Photo: More than 70 Seattle firefighters responded to a Columbia City fire after a construction sit...

Julia Dallas

Columbia City construction site goes up in flames; downs power lines, damages cars and home

More than 70 Seattle firefighters responded to a construction site in Columbia City after it went up in flames early Saturday morning.

21 hours ago

Strike imminent for delivery truck drivers with Seattle Public Schools