Passenger Transportation

Passenger Transportation Division

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Local 174 represents Passenger Transportation workers at:

First Student (drivers and mechanics)
  • IBT Passenger Transportation Division:
    The Teamsters Passenger Transportation Division represents more than 50,000 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants, mechanics, and dispatchers all across North America.

    Here at Local 174, we represent over 300 school bus drivers and mechanics at First Student. These workers are responsible for the safe transportation of our children to and from school, and we are grateful to them for the work they do every day!

    IBT Division Director: Rick Middleton

  • Business Agent:

    Abe TaylorAbe Taylor
    Business Agent
    Contact Phone: 206-441-6060 ext. 1325
    First Student

  • Useful Links:

    Grievance form link

    **Please note that Grievances MUST be submitted in person or by fax. They will not be accepted via email.**



Passenger Transportation Teamsters in the News:

Teamsters at First Student Put Together Picket Signs for Possible Strike

October 13, 2017

Teamsters Local 174 members at First Student came together today to work on making picket signs for a potential Unfair Labor Practice strike. All the signs were carefully waterproofed to prepare for Seattle’s inevitable autumn rain, and morale was high despite the unfortunate circumstance that First Student and the Seattle School District have put these drivers in. It was great to see everyone working together! The drivers are still not currently on strike, but a strike could be called at any time. To learn more about the situation, click here.

KIRO 7 News Coverage:

Strike Appears Imminent at First Student as Negotiations Break Down

Unfair Labor Practices at Seattle School District Bus Contractor Threaten to Send up to 400 School Bus Drivers to the Street

October 12, 2017

Negotiations between Teamsters Local 174 and Seattle School District bus contractor First Student broke down yesterday. The negotiations over healthcare and retirement – which affect over 400 school bus drivers in Seattle – began in June, but First Student has continued to refuse to bargain in good faith. First Student has refused to provide requested information, and has failed to send a representative with the authority to make decisions. These, along with the refusal to bargain in good faith, are all Unfair Labor Practices under the National Labor Relations Act.

The group of First Student drivers, who have been members of Teamsters Local 174 since 2013, ratified a contract last year that guaranteed their wages and language to protect their rights on the job. However, retirement and healthcare issues were not settled at that time – instead, both sides agreed to reopen these issues in 2017.  A commitment to ask the Seattle School District for sufficient funding to provide medical and retirement was made, but First Student did not do their part and the Seattle School District refused to step up to the plate.

Since reopening the contract for healthcare and retirement, negotiations have gone nowhere. “The medical plan that the drivers have been offered up to this point provided decent coverage, but it was not even remotely affordable to them. Out of over 400 drivers, only 26 even signed up for the plan,” said Local 174 Director of Negotiations Patty Warren. “The plan options the Company brought to the table this time around were even worse: fixed benefit plans that would allow our members to go to the doctor and find out they were sick, but then be unable to afford to do anything about it. These plans would have left people on the hook for countless thousands of dollars in bills for even a brief hospital stay. We couldn’t possibly agree to that. Our members deserve better.”

The main obstacle preventing a contract from being reached appears to be the privatized school bus business model itself. In areas where school bus drivers are employed directly by the School District, they are compensated appropriately as public employees often are, with good healthcare and retirement security. However, the Seattle School District has outsourced its school bus services to First Student in an attempt to save money, and the impact on bus drivers has been dire: “Many of the drivers are so strapped for cash that they have to use Public Assistance to get healthcare for their families,” said Local 174 Senior Business Agent Abraham Taylor. “And they can forget about retirement – most haven’t been able to save much of anything at all.”

Drivers express regret that the negotiations have not been able to produce an agreement that will keep them at work. “We feel like we were forced into this,” said First Student employee and Bargaining Committee member Joyce Hiatt. “We don’t want to go on strike, but we are not going to stand by and be mistreated. We see all the other employees at the school getting paid fairly – the custodians, the cafeteria employees, and everyone else. We’re the only ones out here with no affordable healthcare and no pension. And that isn’t right.”

“We would like to be healthy, so that we can continue to do a good job,” said another First Student employee and Bargaining Committee member Renita Wright. “It’s a shame that First Student and the Seattle School District can’t seem to be able to make that happen for us.”

Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks echoed the bus drivers’ message: “This isn’t just a shame – it is an embarrassment. The Seattle School District and First Student need to step up and put forward a real offer that takes our members’ needs into account. It is embarrassing that there are people working in our school system who need government aid for healthcare and have no hope of retirement, especially when just about everyone else in that same work environment does.”

“Nobody wants to see a strike in this industry. But First Student, through their stall tactics and total refusal to put forward a reasonable offer at the bargaining table, are forcing our hand,” Hicks continued. “We are going to do what is right for our members and their families.”

Currently, the bus drivers are not on strike; however, a strike could be called at any time after the drivers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike action at a meeting on September 24.

Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 7,200 working men and women in the Seattle area. “Like” us on Facebook at

Local 174 Members at First Student Vote to Authorize Strike Action

School bus drivers authorize strike after their Employer refuses to provide healthcare or retirement security

September 27, 2017

School bus drivers at First Student gathered in the Local 174 Union Hall auditorium this past weekend to discuss and vote on the next step in their battle for healthcare and retirement security. After a nearly two-hour informational meeting, the workers voted by a resounding 96% margin in favor of authorizing a strike action against their Employer.

First Student driver and Bargaining Committee member Renita Wright casts her ballot

Negotiations over healthcare and pension have been going on for several months between First Student and the bus drivers, who have been members of Teamsters Local 174 since 2013. The group of approximately 450 school bus drivers ratified a contract last year that guaranteed their wages and language to protect their rights on the job; however, retirement and healthcare issues were not settled at that time. Instead, both sides agreed to reopen these issues in 2017.

Now that the time has come to reach agreements on healthcare and pension, however, it has become clear that First Student never intended to take these issues seriously. “They came to the table, ostensibly ready to bargain healthcare, but then they couldn’t tell us what those costs would be, nor could they tell us what kind of budget the School Board had given them,” said Local 174 Director of Negotiations Patty Warren. “How are we supposed to bargain over numbers when we don’t even know what those numbers are? It just demonstrates that this company never really intended to reach an agreement with us. We are filing Unfair Labor Practice charges for Bad Faith Bargaining and Surface Bargaining as they never intended to reach an Agreement on these very important issues.” (more…)

Worcester School Bus Drivers and Monitors Ratify Teamsters Contract

August 31, 2017

Durham workers in Worcester, MA celebrating their new contract with the Teamsters

Intense Negotiations, Threat of Strike Lead to Strong Agreement with Durham

(WORCESTER, Mass.) — On Aug. 30, Teamsters Local 170 members that work as Special Education Drivers & Monitors at Durham School Services approved an agreement with the company after nine months of negotiations and the threat of a strike, which would have affected 12,000 students in the City of Worcester. The agreement, which covers approximately 130 workers, was ratified by more than a 90 percent margin.

“I’d like to thank Local 170 business agents Ken Bergen and Eli Gillen for all of their assistance, and give credit to the members who stood together for a fair contract and were ready and united to do whatever was necessary to win a favorable outcome,” said Secretary-Treasurer Shannon George. “When members stand united and support their local union’s officers and agents, they can achieve the contracts that they deserve.” (more…)

Middleborough School Bus Drivers and Monitors Ratify Teamster Contract

August 29, 2017

School Bus Workers for Kids with Special Needs Gain Improved Working Conditions

(MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass.) – Teamster school bus drivers and monitors with Middleborough Public Schools have overwhelmingly ratified a three-year agreement.

The drivers and monitors, members of Teamsters Local 653 in South Easton, voted 22-1 in favor of the agreement. There are 26 workers in the bargaining unit who transport students with special needs. (more…)

More Than 400 Illinois School Bus Workers Ratify 3 Teamster Contracts

June 14, 2017

Teamsters Local 777 Wins Fair Wages for First Student Drivers and Aides

(CHICAGO) – More than 80 percent of First Student school bus drivers and aides have voted to approve new contracts in Glen Ellyn, Elk Grove Village and Villa Park, Ill., increasing wages and other benefits for more than 400 school bus industry workers.

The drivers and aides are members of Teamsters Local 777, which fought to secure higher starting wages for workers and give First Student employees raises across the board. (more…)

Teamster Local 179 Bus Driver, Monitor Save Children from Fire

June 8, 2017

Teamsters Local 179 members Joyce Marfell, left, and Monica Lally, right, saved four children from a school bus fire

Members’ Heroism a Prime Example of Teamster Commitment to School Bus Safety

May 22, 2017 was just a normal day for Bus Driver Monica Lally and Monitor Joyce Marfell. They were on their way to Patterson Elementary School, transporting four students as they normally do. But then, disaster struck unexpectedly.

Lally and Marfell were on their way to pick up the fifth and final student when Lally noticed smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle.

“I radioed to the yard to make sure they knew about the situation. The smoke started and quickly grew, and then it turned black,” Lally said. “I turned to Joyce, and I said ‘it’s time to evacuate.’ This is the first time anything like this has ever happened, I’m glad everyone ended up being OK.” (more…)

Teamsters Local 853 Make History at First Transit

June 2, 2017

Redwood City Teamsters Become First Dispatchers and Supervisors to Negotiate Agreement with Company

Workers at First Transit, Inc. in Redwood City, California who are members of Teamsters Local 853, ratified a first contract on May 11. The contract, which covers Dispatchers and Supervisors, is the first of its kind for the Teamsters Union.

“Congratulations to all of our members who worked hard and fought for a strong contract at First Transit,” said Rome Aloise, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853. “These workers came together to fight hard for their rights, and their efforts are a great example of the work being done to improve conditions all across the passenger transportation industry.” (more…)

Teamsters Local 745 Ratifies New Contract with First Student

April 19, 2017
Teamsters Local 745 celebrate their new contract

Agreement Ratified by 100 Percent of Participating Drivers, School Bus Monitors

(DALLAS, Texas) – Members of Teamsters Local 745 unanimously ratified a first contract with First Student Transportation in Lewisville, TX on March 31, 2017. Local 745 organized the 381 school bus monitors and drivers that service The Colony and Lewisville Independent School Districts (TX) in 2016.

The contract includes some significant improvements, including wage increases ranging from 17-19 percent over the course of four years, guaranteed pay for all time served, an increase in the eligibility for overtime, and coverage of the membership under Teamsters Local 745’s grievance procedure process. (more…)

Niagara Falls Coach Lines School Bus Monitors To Join Teamsters Local 264

April 10, 2017
Niagara Fall Coach Lines school bus monitors celebrating their win

Drivers Welcome Co-workers After Landslide Yes Vote by Newest Members

(NIAGARA FALLS, New York) – Fifty school bus monitors working for Niagara Falls Coach Lines have voted to join Teamsters Local 264. The final margin was 41-2 in favor of joining the union.

Wages were among the biggest concerns for the school bus monitors: the workers currently get minimum wage with no benefits, and after watching the drivers at their company get wage raises consistently under a Teamster contract, they decided to reach out to the local. (more…)

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