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Union Public Schools in dire need of bus drivers

Union Public Schools buses. Aug. 12, 2022. (KTUL)
Union Public Schools buses. Aug. 12, 2022. (KTUL)
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Union Public Schools is in dire need of bus drivers, especially since school starts Wednesday.

As of Monday afternoon, 17 positions were open, meaning there's a chance the district won't be able to cover every route on time.

As a result, the district is taking drastic measures.

Union is boosting driver pay by $2 per hour, with starting pay at $15 per hour. Experienced CDL drivers can qualify for even higher pay.

The district is also offering a one-time $2,000 sign-on bonus for drivers that stay with the school for a full year.

"Mechanics and office staff, we all have our CDL, and we are getting very close to using everyone we have, and then we could reach out to some coaches in our district who have their CDL, but there’s a limit to everything," said Susan Pettit with Union Public Schools.

Bus driver shortages are impacting schools across the nation.

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According to the National Association of Pupil Transportation, 87% of school transportation professionals reported that the bus driver shortage is a major problem and 70% of them say it's only getting worse.

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