• Seattle school bus driver strike enters sixth day

    By: David Solano


    TUKWILA, Wash. - Negotiations took place Thursday to try to end the Seattle school bus strike as it entered its sixth day.

    And this time, they involved a federal mediator. 

    The spokesperson for Teamsters Local 174, Jamie Fleming, told KIRO 7 that it would be a late night at the negotiating table.

    As the Seattle school bus strike rolls into its sixth day, the drivers, who are represented by the Teamsters union, are asking for better health care and retirements benefits.

    Parents have been adjusting their schedules for a week now in order to drop off and pick up kids from school.

    "I've seen parents at our school do lots of really collaborative things,” Krista Hanson, a concerned parent, said. “And it is hard, but it's a sacrifice that we're willing to make to support the drivers." 

    "I can see [a situation where] tomorrow, you might have to ask a friend [to drop and pick up the kids from school again] – or another family member has work or probably lives nearby – but then [that person] has to take time off of work – probably about 15 minutes – to leave work and then drop them off at home and then get back to work,” said Deion Inthoulay, who's concerned about the bus strike.

    Some drivers have been crossing picket lines which has allowed the company, First Student, to have bus service for some routes. 

    "Now, the fact is if First Student can afford to offer this additional economic enticement to drivers to cross the picket line, why can't they offer that at the bargaining table [for the Seattle school bus drivers trying to get better health care coverage]?" Jonathan Rosenblum, a concerned parent, said.

    The Seattle Education Association told KIRO 7 they have a meeting on Monday, Feb. 12 to consider whether teachers should stage another walkout in support of the drivers. 

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