Seattle Public Schools Responds to Teamsters Local 174 Letter

October 31, 2017

In a direct response to Local 174 Secretary Treasurer Rick Hicks’s letter dated October 30, 2017, Seattle Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Operations Pegi McEvoy has sent a letter to First Student. A PDF of the letter is available here, and the full text of the letter is below. The letter states that if First Student does not reach a resolution with the Teamsters to avoid a strike, the District will be seeking damages from First Student to the maximum extent allowed by law — potentially at a cost of $1.2 million per day.

October 31, 2017

To: Kim Worster
Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Ms. Worster:

It is my understanding that you have not resolved the outstanding issues with your bus drivers and that your drivers may go on strike as early as this week. It is paramount to Seattle Public Schools and the many students who depend on daily bus service that a strike is averted. Please
understand that in the event a strike does occur and bus service disrupted, Seattle Public Schools intends to seek damages from First Student to the maximum extent allowed by law.

As you know, thousands of our students and their families depend on bus service each day to travel to and from school. Should daily bus service be disrupted, the lives and education of many students will be significantly and adversely impacted. In addition to this disruption, Seattle Public Schools could also face substantial costs to address your failure to provide the contractually obligated service.

Your contract with Seattle Public Schools mandates that you provide continuous and uninterrupted bus service. The contract provides for significant liquidated damages for every missed route. Our preliminary calculations indicate that liquidated damages for missing all routes due to strike would result in damages of approximately $1.2 Million per day. We will vigorously seek such damages, along with any others allowed, in the event service is interrupted due to a strike.

We appreciate the efforts you have taken to date to resolve the issues with your drivers. We encourage you to promptly resolve remaining issues and avoid a very costly and disruptive interruption to bus service.

Sincerely,

Pegi McEvoy
Assistant Superintendent for Operations
Seattle Public Schools