Montgomery County BOE approves bonuses for school bus drivers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – New and current Montgomery Public School bus drivers are about to get a bonus.

In an effort to retain and attract drivers, the Montgomery Public School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of a $2,000 sign-up bonus for new drivers and a $2,000 retention bonus. $ for current full-time drivers. Part-time drivers will receive a $1,000 bonus.

“We believe this signing bonus and retention bonus will help us retain the bus drivers we already have, while hopefully we can recruit those we have lost before, MPS CFO Arther said. . Watts to the school board.

The bonus is a one-time payment, and drivers who accept must agree to stay with MPS for at least two years.

Like other districts in the state, MPS is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers. Currently, the school system estimates that it has lost up to 20 employees.

“As you know, as soon as our bus drivers pass their CDL, they’re basically robbed,” Watts said.

Rolando Carter works for the Department of Transportation and addressed the board at Tuesday’s meeting.

“What can we do to rectify the situation? Retention and recruitment is the name of the game,” Carter said. “Better pay and equal pay for our skills and abilities.”

The school board discussed its fear of losing drivers who could find jobs elsewhere with higher pay.

MPS gave bus drivers a 15% pay rise in October 2021, but Superintendent Ann Roy Moore agreed the extra pay was needed to be competitive.

“Even if we gave them a raise, if we didn’t bring them to the competitive rate, they might not stay with us,” Moore said.

MPS officials hope the extra money will keep their drivers behind the wheel and encourage more to join.

When exactly drivers can expect to see this $2,000 bonus is not yet known. WSFA 12 News has been told that the finance team is now working with the human resources department to determine when drivers will see this money.

MPS projects that the additional bonuses will cost them about $366,000, which they will draw from the $4 million available to them in the state Department of Transportation’s funding reserves.

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