Pay to rise for all Minooka SD 111 bus drivers
By Kris Stadalsky Correspondent October 23, 2013 9:12PM
Updated: November 25, 2013 12:32PM
Bus drivers in Minooka High School District 111 who take special-education students to locations outside the district are getting a pay raise rather than a pay cut.
The school board has approved a wage increase to $52.50 per route for them, retroactive to Aug. 12, the first day of this school year, according to John Bryk, the district’s business and finance director.
Those drivers spend considerably more time on the road than drivers on regular routes. Bus drivers work on a per-route basis.
The new deal also includes extra pay for any bus route that exceeds two hours, Bryk said.
The school board had proposed that all bus drivers, regardless of distance and time spent driving, earn $42 per route, but the out-of-district drivers spoke out at several board and committee meetings, saying that was unfair.
Driver Dick Parrish told the board last month that the proposal gave the in-district drivers a 13 percent raise while out-of-district drivers got a 15 percent pay cut.
Parrish said he has spoken with several drivers whose routes take them outside District 111 and all are satisfied with the new route pay and getting back pay.
“I think everybody is happy, (the offer) is very reasonable,” he said. “I guess all the frustration, anxiety and effort paid off.”
In July, the school board’s transportation committee supported a proposal to hire three full-time drivers who each would work an eight-hour day — picking up extra routes midday in addition to their morning and afternoon shifts.
The change would have taken the midday routes away from 16 other drivers and reduced their income.
The measure would have saved District 111 about $77,000 a year, but because of the number of employees it affected, the board did not approve it at the August meeting.