‘We take care of our own’: Improving pay for North Carolina school bus drivers

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Many school districts are struggling to hire bus drivers and some of them are now offering pay raises to bring in more applicants and keep current drivers on staff.

Durham schools says it recently passed a pay raise for its bus drivers going into next year and Chapel Hill-Carrboro passed a raise Thursday night.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro transportation director Brad Johnson says this comes after he and the superintendent looked into where their district ranked among other districts in bus driver pay.

“When I first arrived in Chapel Hill approximately five years ago, we led the state with salaries and when we did this study about a month ago, we had fallen to twelfth,” Johnson said.

The district is struggling to attract more bus drivers because of a shortage in C-D-L drivers and so many industries looking for them. That’s why the school board approved a proposal last night to increase pay from $14.95 an hour to $16.50 an hour.

“It’s something we can hang our hat on, something we can promote, something to say hey, we take care of our own,” Johnson said.

Leaders in multiple districts say they expect the pay raise trend to continue as they all try to stand out.

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