College Community School District raises pay rate for outgoing bus drivers

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — The College Community School District is increasing its starting pay rate for bus drivers by $2, from $21 to $23 an hour, as part of its latest effort to recruit and retain employees.

In a news release, the district said the move comes in addition to a $500 signing bonus for new hires and addresses the nationwide shortage of bus drivers.

“While a Class B CDL license is required to operate a school bus, this license is not required to apply to College Community,” district leaders said in a news release. “New employees are compensated for on-the-job training and are reimbursed for half the cost of the license. Additionally, College Community covers the cost of the Department of Transportation (DOT) pre-employment medical exam and all other certification expenses. Bus drivers enjoy a flexible schedule with part-time hours, paid time off, summer time off, and eligibility for benefits.

The district also offers incentives to current employees for recruiting new employees. If a current employee in the college community hires a new staff member for the transportation department, they will receive $250. If recruitment occurs after 60 or 90 days, the employee will receive a recruitment bonus of $100.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, staffing challenges are impacting all sectors of our economy. Schools are also facing this unprecedented staffing challenge, which has been well documented in local and national media. While College Community and Iowa, in general, tend to experience fewer challenges than other states, we have not been immune to the effects of staffing shortages, particularly in transportation,” said College Community School District Superintendent Douglas Wheeler.

The pay rate increase is the third pay increase for bus drivers in the district in the past four years. Other recruitment and retention efforts include increased benefits eligibility and additional paid time off.

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