Providence school bus drivers are considering striking as negotiations with First Student continue. First Student, the private company responsible for a significant portion of the Providence Public School District’s transportation, recently made its “last offer” to the union representing the drivers, Teamsters Local 251, which was rejected. The union has since presented its own proposal, which was also turned down. If the new proposal is not accepted, a strike could take place on Wednesday. The strike would have a severe effect on Providence students and their families, according to the Providence Public School District. While negotiations continue, First Student has offered “immediate pay raises” and a wage increase that would make Providence First Student drivers the highest-paid in the area, as well as continued funding for healthcare plans. However, union leadership is demanding that First Student fund the failing New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund, a request that the company has rejected.

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