July 9: Transportation Bargaining Update

The District (TPS) and the union representing our Bus Drivers, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 302, (union) mutually reached the conclusion that the parties were at impasse in their bargain over a new contract. Sections still open between the parties include: Salary, Definitions, Hours of Work, Program Procedures, Overnight Trips, Summer Work, and Lay-off/Recall. The parties are essentially in agreement on Definitions and Summer Work, with a only a minor effort needed to secure a tentative agreement on those two sections. 

TPS is currently waiting to hear from the union as to possible mediators it would like to suggest assist the parties.  Absent such input, TPS will reach out to PERC by next Monday to secure a mediator to help guide the parties to a settlement. Mediation is effectively a continuation of the negotiations, but with a third-party neutral who acts as a facilitator to the process. The mediator has no power to compel an outcome. However, a skilled mediator will often find the settlement that has eluded the parties to that juncture. It would be hoped that the parties will be back at the table before the end of the month or by early August at the latest.

 As changes occur, there will be further updates to the district website.

Media Contact

Dan Voelpel, Executive Director of Communications | 253-571-1015 | dvoelpe@tacoma.k12.wa.us

About Tacoma Schools

Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...


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