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SBCSC approves pay hike for bus drivers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After a bumpy road, South Bend Community School Corporation bus drivers finally have something to celebrate--a pay raise.

The School Board approved a new contract for the drivers at Thursday night's meeting.

The Director of Transportation said this contract change marks the first of its kind in 12 years.

“When we got the word that it was accepted, we was ecstatic. It was a long, I mean, it was something. It was a battle, but we overcame, like Dr. Spells said, it was a lot of talking, and we did it," said Debra Ward, president for the bus drivers' union.

“I feel like a proud papa tonight. This is great for bus drivers. This is great for the students of team South Bend, great for the kids, I knew we could do it. I knew if we got together, Deb Ward, Ken Spells, we got together, we could get this thing done, because we’re working hard for the community," said Superintendent Dr. Ken Spells.

Now, bus drivers feel like they're being fairly compensated for that hard work.

Here's a breakdown of the numbers:

2017-2018 school year

  • Drivers making up to $17.37/hour will make $18.26/hour
  • Drivers making between $17.38/hour and $17.75/hour will make $18.76/hour
  • Drivers making $17.38/hour and more will make $18.76/hour.

Starting January 1, 2019

  • Drivers making $18.26/hour will make $18.50/hour
  • Drivers making $18.76/hour will make $19.00/hour
  • Drivers making $20.00/hour will make $20.25/hour

Where before it seemed like the board vs. buses, now it's all "team South Bend."

“Thank you for standing by your word. You said we were going to make it happen, and we made it happen," said Debra Ward to the superintendent.

Next, Team South Bend is going on a recruiting tour in an effort to hire more bus drivers.

The superintendent said they'll be visiting churches and other community venues to spread the word about the pay raise and new incentives.


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