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Nashville Mayor John Cooper proposes pay increase for Metro Schools bus drivers

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Posted at 6:56 AM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 08:28:31-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mayor John Cooper is trying to give Metro Nashville Public School bus drivers a more livable salary.

He's proposing at least an $11,000 raise under the proposed school budget. Some drivers would see a pay increase of $14,000. Bus monitors will also get a big bump according to Mayor Cooper.

He said the raise would put drivers on par with WeGo drivers.

The news comes about 7 months after Metro Nashville Public Schools bus drivers rallied demanding better pay and benefits amid a staffing shortage they say has become a "crisis."

At the time, Pam Battle, president of Local 9426 USW, said drivers were doubling and tripling routes, forcing kids to sit three to a seat.

According to Metro Schools' website, the starting salary for a bus driver right now is about $16 an hour.

Mayor Cooper said since he took office, his administration has increased the starting pay for drivers by 65%.

Under the proposal, he will also be extending paid family medical leave to all the district's employees.

The proposed budget still needs to be approved by the school board and city council.