School bus drivers reach tentative union deal after strike

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HARTFORD — City school bus drivers came to a preliminary contract agreement on Friday after a strike earlier in the week.

The drivers, who are represented by CSEA-SEIU Local 2001, negotiated with leaders from their employer, DATTCO, until a new settlement could be reached. The negotiations began early Friday and lasted throughout the entire day.

The initial agreement, while not yet set in-stone, includes changes to work hours, increased retirement benefits and paid sick leave.

This tentative deal comes after 130 bus drivers participated in a strike earlier in the week. 9,000 students were stranded as public school transit grounded to a halt.

Earlier in the week, 130 bus drivers went on strike, which caused all public school transit to ground to a halt and left 9,000 students stranded at their bus stops. Union leaders say the strike was necessary because of a previously rejected tentative agreement and significant lack of progress after nine months of negotiations.

A ratification vote is planned for the upcoming week and will occur after drivers have reviewed all relevant changes individually.