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AN HOUR 16


$53,000 for a national, irregular route $86,000 for a private truck fleet driver


*American Trucking Associations Driver Compensation Survey, March 2018


WITH MOST RESPONSES TO STN SURVEY 51 responses that provided their locations.)


Fox 13. Te school board also approved a proposal to drop its requirement that drivers be high school graduates (or have a GED). But the jury was still out on whether or not these two actions will become long-term fixes for driver recruitment and retention. However, not everyone thinks the new pay rates


32 7


are enough. For example, Ricky Valdez wrote, “Yea all [their] pay sucks. Even teacher pay sucks … and they wonder why there is a shortage.” Darhlene Zeanwick wrote, “I guarantee if Polk paid a minimum of $15 an hour, a living wage, there’d be no shortage. You screw workers, Polk, then expect to be screwed.” In Utah, the Alpine School District voted earlier this


26 17 21


year to raise wages to $18.30 per hour, in response to a shortage of 20 drivers, reported Fox13. Te district also allocated $1,000 per new driver applicant to pay for the cost of obtaining a CDL, plus one week of training. In contrast, Wilson County school officials in Wilson


15


WITH NO RESPONSES TO STN SURVEY ut, Hawaii, New Hampshire & Vermont


County, Tennessee, tried to solve a driver shortage last school year, by increasing their wages by $3 per hour. Driver recruitment still remains a problem, though,


said WSMV News 4, as the shortage worsened this school year. In August, the district announced that the number of openings had quadrupled—so the district was still short by 24 drivers. Driver pay rates there now begin at $17 per hour and can increase to $25 with experience. In addition, the district provided retirement benefits, along with access to locally-contracted health clinics. In Kansas a few months ago, the Baldwin City School


District raised driver pay to $17.28 per hour, but in July, the district still had five vacancies. In Minnesota, KARE11 reported on Sept. 5 that the


$ PER HOUR 8.26


THE LOWEST REPORTED CHOOL BUS DRIVER PAY RATE


“statewide bus driver shortage has squeezed nearly every district in Minnesota.” Some officials estimated the shortage to be a total of well over 1,000 vacancies. Tere was movement, though, on increasing the rate of pay there. “School districts and bus companies are aggressively recruiting to fill the vacant positions. First Student, for example, is now offering signing bonuses for new drivers and increased starting pay to $18 per hour,” it was reported. However, given the number of continued vacancies there, it definitely appears their driver shortage problem, and similarly-sized shortages in many other states, will continue well into 2019, and probably for another year or two afterwards.


INCREASING HOURS TO PUT MORE CASH IN DRIVERS’ POCKETS


In an effort to help increase the total take home pay for school


bus drivers, many school districts reported some unadvertised ways to boost paychecks. Ann Rugg, transportation supervisor for the Springville Griffith Institute CSD in New York, said several of her drivers are also


36 School Transportation News • OCTOBER 2018


MOST COMMON SCHOOL BUS DRIVER PAY RATES, PER HOUR


$21.00-$21.99..................................................9.1% $20.00-$20.99...............................................9.1% $25.00-$25.99..............................................8.4% $19.00-$19.99 ...............................................8.4% $22.00-$22.99..................................................7% $18.00-$18.99..............................................6.78% $24.00-$24.99 ............................................. 6.5% $17.00-$17.99................................................. 6.5% $16.00-$16.99 ............................................... 6.3% $14.99 & below............................................. 5.8% $26.00-$26.99 ...........................................5.37% $23.00-$23.99............................................5.37% $15.00-$15.99..............................................4.67% $27.00-$27.99...................................................3% $28.00-$28.99.............................................1.87% $29.00-$29.99.............................................1.63% $30.00-$30.99..........................................0.93% $32.00-$32.99...........................................0.93% $35.00.............................................................0.7% $33.00-$33.99..............................................0.7% $34.00-$34.99..........................................0.46% $31.00-$31.99..............................................0.23%


(Based on 428 responses. Rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent; total equals approximately 100.)


employed in other areas of the district, such as in the school cafeteria. “Tis is certainly an area that needs more exploration, as we [continue to] work through the shortage all of us are experiencing,” she said. In central California, Michael Littlejohn, the director of transportation and warehouse services at the Carpinteria Unified School District, told STN that various opportunities exist to cross train drivers in public schools systems and increase their hours. “Drivers can help in the maintenance department, grounds, food service, janitorial, and even in the school offices,” he commented. Jeff Barker, transportation supervisor at the Lake Chelan School District in Washington state, said that food service and


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