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RCSD Offers Incentives to Attract Bus Drivers, Support Staff

Staff reports

Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash

The Rochester City School District is offering incentives to attract and keep bus drivers.

Current and future drivers are eligible to receive up to a $2,500 bonus, subject to conditions.

The district is offering other incentives.

RCSD, like many school districts nationwide, announced in September that the companies that provide transportation did not have enough drivers. More than 29,000 students rely on the district for transportation.

“Retaining our employees is critical,” Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small said in a news release announcing the incentives. “These positions are vital to the operations of the district. We hope to attract more individuals who can join an exceptional workforce dedicated to the well-being of students and families.”

RCSD is working with BENTE, the bargaining unit that represents school bus drivers, to keep current employees and attract new one. The following incentives are being offered:

New employee recruitment incentive:

  • Any school bus driver who is hired between now and April 1, 2022, will receive a hiring incentive bonus payment of to up to $2,500.

Retention incentive for current employees:

  • Any current employee, prior to Oct. 25, 2021, whose position requires a commercial drivers’ license (CDL) is eligible to receive a $2,500 retention bonus. Employees must remain with the district for one year in order to receive the bonus.

Attendance incentive:

  • Any current school bus driver who is absent two days or less per semester (September – January; February-June) is eligible for a $250 attendance bonus after the semester ends.

Recruiting referral bonus:

  • During this school year (2021 – 22), up to 200 current employees who refer an individual to the District as either a school bus driver, clerical, food service, school safety officer (SSO), paraprofessional or teaching assistant, will receive a referral bonus of $100.

The incentives are being paid for by state and federal COVID-relief funds, according to school board member Beatriz LeBron.