Providence School Bus Drivers on Strike After Negotiations With Union Fail

Providence bus strike
WJAR-TV

School bus drivers have hit the picket lines in Providence, leaving parents scrambling for ways to get their kids to school.

About 200 drivers for the school district's bus contractor went on strike Thursday morning after last-minute negotiations over retirement benefits failed.

Teamsters Local 251 business agent Nick Williams says the union "went outside the box" but that contractor First Student "stonewalled" negotiators.

First Student spokesman Christopher Hunter says the company is disappointed in the union's decision to strike.

The union wants First Student to contribute to the union's pension. The bus company has argued drivers should participate in a 401(k).

Schools will consider student absences in the first days of a strike to be "excused absences." The district has about 9,000 students.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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