Jan 08, 2018

Update Regarding Seattle Labor Negotiations

The following is an update regarding First Student’s negotiations with Local 174 regarding transportation for Seattle Public Schools.

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. 

Chris Kemper 
Senior Director of Corporate Communications 
First Student