ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. — School bus drivers here are asking for higher pay and more benefits as well as for several grievances to be addressed by the district, Kingsport Times News reports.

Hawkins County Schools recently signed a petition that listed issues such as lack of support from principals in managing student behavior; drivers not receiving the same credit on the salary scale for previous school district experience as school employees who earn their CDL; having a source of extra income eliminated by other school staff members with their CDL driving students to field trips and extracurricular events; and requested a significant pay increase. They submitted the petition to the transportation director, according to the news source.

The district’s board of education has already proposed to increase bus driver pay by $3 per day for the 2018-19 school year, according to Kingsport Times News. That changes the daily starting pay from $57 to $60, and increases spending in the 2018-19 budget by $58,000.The bus drivers requested another $15, which would set their pay range from $75 to $95 per day and cost approximately $276,000 more annually, the news source reports.

In a board of education meeting on June 7, the chairman appointed a transportation subcommittee to address the driver’s requests. On Tuesday, the leader of the subcommittee proposed to offer bus drivers an additional $5 per day next year, and increase it to an additional $5 per day in increments over the next three years, according to Kingsport Times News. Including the $3 raise already proposed in the budget, there would be an overall $13 per day increase for all bus drivers after four years. The proposal also includes $250 in incentive pay for drivers every 60 school days, three times per year, for meeting criteria such as perfect attendance and attending all safety meetings.

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