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CMS board votes to increase hourly pay rates for bus drivers

The new starting pay for drivers will be $17.75 instead of the previous $15.75.
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:23 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted to increase the hourly rates for bus drivers in an effort to hire and retain qualified drivers during Tuesday night’s board meeting.

The new starting pay for drivers will be $17.75 instead of the previous $15.75. Pay rates for drivers will increase between $2 and $3 per hour, based on experience. The district will also continue to provide a $1,000 signing retention bonus for new drivers.

“We are glad to have found a way to provide a more competitive pay scale for the employees who have the responsibility of taking children to and from school,” said Elyse Dashew, Board chair. “This new pay structure will make us more competitive with CATS and surrounding school districts, and should alleviate the bus-driver shortage. Getting kids to school on time for a full day of learning is more important than ever.”

There are currently 56 open positions for bus drivers and 50 drivers on approved leave. CMS says about 30 or so are absent on a daily basis.

“We are basically covering 140 vacancies every day,” said Adam Johnson, executive director of transportation.

Those vacancies are due to a combination of unfilled positions, call-outs, and drivers on approved leave.

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