Niskayuna CSD offering big raises for bus drivers

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School bus drivers and other frontline school staff in Niskayuna are getting a pay boost. The board approved the increase at a meeting Tuesday night.

The district says this school year, all staff continue to go above and beyond their job titles to make everything run smoothly, whether it’s bus drivers working multiple routes or school nurses taking on contact tracing.

"Everyone in our district is valued, and we wanted to make sure that our bus drivers knew how valuable they are. So once we knew that we had resources that we can give to our bus drivers, so we went right away and decided to raise the pay and also offer them a one-time bonus of $1,000," said Niskayuna’s Interim Superintendent, Dr. Juliette Pennyman.

The raise is $3 more an hour for drivers, bringing their pay to $22.99 an hour. It’s retroactive to the beginning of this year.

The raise also applies to food service staff. The district says it is negotiating a similar raise for its custodians and maintenance staff.

When it comes to hiring bus drivers, Dr. Pennyman says they are looking for people who care about students.

"What it takes to make a great bus driver is just to be able to build relationships with our students and to be able to keep our students safe," she explained.

Drivers are also getting a $500 bonus in December and another $500 at the end of the school year.

The district is still trying to hire eight to 10 bus drivers. Anyone interested in applying can contact the district’s transportation office by clicking here.