Mat-Su school bus drivers reach tentative contract agreement, potentially ending month-long strike

Supporters of the Teamsters Local 959 bus drivers wave signs near the Mat-Su Borough School District building on Feb. 15, 2023. The bus drivers union announced they’d reached a tentative agreement with the operator of the buses, potentially ending the strike by March 6. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

Officials with the union representing Mat-Su school bus drivers say they’ve reached a tentative agreement with the operator of the buses, potentially bringing an end to a month-long strike. 

At the start of the year, contract negotiations soured between Teamsters Local 959, the union for Mat-Su Borough School District bus drivers, and Durham School Services, the operator of the buses. That led to a strike starting at the end of January, leaving between 6,000 to 7,000 of the district’s students without bus service. The Mat-Su Borough School District is the second largest district in Alaska.

In a Facebook post Thursday night, the union announced that after six hours of negotiating, they’d reached a tentative agreement with Durham earlier that afternoon.

Union members are set to vote on the tentative agreement over the weekend. If it’s approved, striking school bus drivers would return to work as soon as Monday. 

During the strike, district officials say 2% of students have been absent, and the district has seen six to seven students a day transferring out of a Mat-Su school.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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