FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks-area school bus personnel and the First Student transportation company have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Jeremy Holan, the business agent for Teamsters Local 959, said the unionized workforce — consisting of drivers, mechanics, monitors and attendants — has ratified the contract. Cincinnati-based First Student still hasn’t formally signed off on the deal, but Holan said he expects that step will be completed this week.

Holan declined to discuss terms of the contract until it has been approved officially.

Although just a week of school remains, the deal should avoid any remaining possibility of a work stoppage. The unionized First Student workforce voted 145-17 to strike on Feb. 28, but buses continued to run as negotiations advanced.

It’s the second strike authorization that unionized bus personnel have made against First Student in recent years. They also voted to strike in April 2010, but both sides reached a contract soon afterward.

First Student has a contract with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to provide student transportation until August 2016. The district wasn’t involved in the negotiations.

Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMbusiness.