(TACOMA, Wash.) – First Student drivers represented by Teamsters Local 313 have voted to ratify their most recent collective bargaining agreement. The approximately 160 drivers provide student transportation services for students attending Tacoma public schools.
“These drivers stood their ground at the negotiating table and it paid off for them in a big way,” said Local 313 Secretary-Treasurer Bob McDonald. “This is a perfect example of our membership’s unity and grit paying off for them in a big way.”
The new agreement took ten months to negotiate. It contains a number of substantial new benefits, such as wage increases, more paid time off, guaranteed base pay for charter trips and 401(k) matching. The drivers will also now be included in the health care plan for administrative staff at First Student, with the company covering 75 percent of the costs associated with premiums and deductibles for the drivers.
Joe Schott is a Local 313 Shop Steward who has been a Teamster for more than ten years, and he served on the negotiating committee during bargaining with the company.
“I’ve been doing this for a number of years, and I feel really good about this contract,” Schott said. “Nothing was given to us, we earned everything that we got in these negotiations. We stood our ground and everyone worked so well together. It was a good team effort, and I’m proud that I was a part of it.”
Teamsters Local 313 is one of the oldest Teamster locals in the country, owning an original charter date of October 1, 1903. For over a century, workers from many different trades in the Pacific Northwest have come together in solidarity to make us who we are today.