Drivers at the picket line on the first day of the six-day school bus driver strike.
Drivers at the picket line on the first day of the six-day school bus driver strike. ULYSSES CURRY

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First Student and the Teamsters Local 174 have reached a deal both sides say is likely to end the ongoing school bus driver strike.

First Student is the company that contracts with Seattle schools to provide yellow bus service to about 12,000 students. Drivers for the company went on strike beginning February 1, demanding more affordable health care for themselves and their families.

The union and First Student met Thursday with a federal mediator. On Friday, both sides announced they've reached a deal. The full union membership will vote on the deal Saturday at 10 am. Union membership has recommended the deal to union members. In a joint statement, First Student and the Teamsters said, "We are confident that this contract will be ratified by union membership." If approved, bus service would resume Monday.

"The agreement provides an expanded benefits package and comprehensive health care coverage for our Seattle Public Schools yellow bus drivers and families," the statement says. "We feel strongly that this deal meets the goals set by all parties in these negotiations."

Teamsters spokesperson Jamie Fleming said the union would not share details of the new deal's health insurance offer because not all drivers have seen the deal.

Reached by phone as she helped drivers pack up the picket line, Fleming said “Everyone is very happy.”

“They never would have gotten this without the strike," Fleming said.