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April 28, 2014  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Pay raise proposed to help fill school bus driver shortage

By Thomas McMahon


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GREENVILLE, S.C. — Starting school bus driver wages would increase nearly 10% at Greenville County Schools under a budget proposal for fiscal year 2015.

District officials discussed the proposal in a school board budget work session last week. The pay increase would be aimed at helping to attract and retain drivers.

"The district is increasingly experiencing difficulty keeping enough trained drivers to adequately run the required routes," according to a budget process document from the work session. "When a driver is not available to run a set route, other drivers must double-up to provide the service."

District officials said that during a recent 18-day period, 286 school bus routes were negatively impacted by driver shortage and absences.

"The delay in school arrivals has a deleterious effect on the instructional program as well as increasing the time required to track student attendance," according to the budget document. "Payroll costs also increase due to the extra routes putting drivers over the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act] overtime limit."

The fiscal year 2015 budget proposal would set aside $494,000 to revise Greenville's school bus driver salary schedule.

A district spokesperson told SBF that the current school bus driver salary range is $11.68 to $15.48 per hour. The proposed salary range is $12.80 to $16.10 per hour.

That would be a 9.6% increase for starting driver pay and a 4% increase for the maximum wage. Also, the number of "experience steps" would be reduced in the proposed salary schedule.

The Greenville school board is slated to conduct a first reading of the general fund budget on May 14.


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