EUGENE, Ore. – The Eugene 4J School Board unanimously approved temporary pay raises and bonuses for transportation workers during a special session Wednesday night, a move expected to combat a shortage of bus drivers.
The district has agreed to raise worker pay by 25% and district officials will give employees the opportunity to earn $500 bonus in December, April, and June, for a total of $1,500. Currently, drivers make between $13.30 and $20.31 per hour.
However, those increased benefits would only last for this current school year and would expire at the end of June 2022.
These benefits apply to all transportation workers with Oregon School Employees Association, including bus drivers, bus aides, mechanics, dispatcher and others.
The increased benefits will cost the district about $1.4 million, much of which can be reimbursed by the state.
Late last month, 4J said it was looking to hire roughly 25 new school bus drivers to fill the gap in service. The district has already consolidated routes and rerouted students as much as possible to stretch to get students to class. The district called the shortage of drivers “extreme and expanding.”
A spokesperson for the district said the pay bumps could be in effect as early as next week.