Mat-Su bus drivers, Durham announce tentative contract agreement

FastCast digital headlines for Thursday, March 2, 2023.
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 5:50 PM AKST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2023 at 11:30 AM AKST
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Bus drivers in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District have tentatively agreed to a contract with Durham School Services.

According to a Facebook post from the Teamsters Local 959, the union and Durham — the company that began busing Mat-Su students this year — reached a tentative agreement after negotiating for six hours on Thursday, at approximately 3 p.m.

Drivers went on strike on Jan. 31, after dropping children off at Mat-Su schools.

According to the release, the union membership will vote on whether to approve or deny the tentative agreement this weekend. The earliest date that bus drivers could return to work is Monday, March 6.

“It is with great pleasure that we announce negotiations between Durham School Services and Teamsters Local 959 have been successful in coming to a tentative agreement on a contract for the Mat-Su school bus workers,” the release said. “Durham School Services team members are eager to provide full-service bussing to the Mat-Su Valley for the remainder of the school year and future years to come.”

On Friday morning, the school district sent a letter to families and staff regarding the agreement.

“We received the good news yesterday that Durham School Services and the Teamsters have reached a Tentative Agreement (TA). The Teamsters will be meeting over the weekend to ratify the agreement,” the letter said. “Once the agreement is ratified, Durham will be able to assess how many drivers are returning to work which will determine the level of service will be able to provide families and on what timeline. The District will provide an update to families on Sunday, March 5th, outlining service expectations for the week of March 6th.”

The release did not provide details about pay or compromises on issues from either the union membership or Durham School Services.