Carmel Clay Schools incentives helped alleviate bus driver shortage

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By Mark Ambrogi

The Carmel Clay Schools’ incentive measures to alleviate the bus driver shortage had its desired effect.

There were two incentives offered: a signing incentive and an attendance incentive, said Ron Ferrand, CCS director of facilities and transportation.

“We were able to attract several driver candidates via the offer of the signing incentive,” Ferrand said. “Those candidates that accepted our offers proceeded with our training program, if needed, and several were ready before school was out last May. This did provide sufficient sub drivers to adequately meet our daily needs.”

The school board approved the following measures at its Feb. 8 meeting: Any bus driver hired after Feb. 8 would receive a $1,500 signing bonus. In order to receive the bonus, the driver must drive a regular route for three months, be employed as a bus driver on Sept. 15, and receive a satisfactory evaluation.

The signing bonus budget will be capped at $22,500. Current bus drivers will receive an increase to their attendance incentive. For the period of Feb. 8 to May 25, current bus drivers will receive a total of $225 for one day of absence and $450 for zero absences. Beginning in July, the attendance incentive will be $150 for one day of absence per semester and $300 for zero absences per semester.

“The attendance incentive also proved helpful as there was some reduction in absences, which also alleviated our shortages,” Ferrand said.

Ferrand said there is ongoing need, and the district continues to seek and hire drivers.

“Currently, we do not anticipate the significant shortage that we experienced last winter,” he said. We do not anticipate renewing the signing incentive at this time. The attendance incentive will continue as provided in the driver’s salary and benefits programs but will not include the added components (which was just in effect to May 25).”

The attendance incentive has now returned to its previous status of $75 for one day of absence and $150 for zero absences.

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