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Bus Company And Drivers Reach Tentative Deal That Could End Strike

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Brie Ripley
/
KNKX
School bus drivers on strike in Seattle

The company that provides school bus transportation to about 12,000 students in the Seattle school district and the union that represents drivers said in a joint statement that they've reached a tentative agreement. Drivers have been on strike for more than a week.

"We are confident that this contract will be ratified by union membership," the company and the union said. "Upon ratification, yellow bus service will resume on Monday."

The drivers, who number about 400 and are represented by Teamsters Local 174, will vote tomorrow morning on the agreement. The union and the company said the proposal provides an expanded benefits package and comprehensive health insurance for drivers and families. 

Drivers began their strike on Feb. 1 because they said they were frustrated by the company's failure to provide affordable health insurance to the families of part-time drivers. They also said they wanted better retirement benefits than the company was offering.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.