BEL AIR, Md — Harford County is following suit in efforts to boost recruitment and retention of school bus drivers amid a nationwide shortage.
On Tuesday, Schools Superintendent Sean W. Bulson and County Executive Barry Glassman announced plans to offer drivers new financial incentives.
The plan calls for a $2,000 retention payment for all school bus drivers, bus attendants, and food service workers. It would apply to school system and bus contractor employees, and also serve as a signing bonus to help fill vacancies.
On top of that, the school system and the union representing those employees agreed to a one-time eight percent market adjustment for bus drivers, attendants, and Food & Nutrition salary scales.
The change would go into effect December 26 and show up on employees paychecks January 7, 2022.
Negotiations for the fiscal year of 2023 are still scheduled to begin this December.
The county's plan comes with an estimated $2.3 million price tag that will be paid for by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
The plan follows Anne Arundel and Baltimore County's recent moves to raise bus driver pay.
Several school districts throughout the state have struggled this year to provide students with transportation, due to union strikes and mass call-outs.