Metro school bus driver talks possible pay increase

Metro school bus drivers have been pushing for better pay for some time now and with Mayor John Cooper's proposed budget more money could be coming soon.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 9:12 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro school bus drivers have been pushing for better pay for some time now, and with Mayor John Cooper’s proposed budget, more money could be coming soon.

“You can only get so excited until you actually see it on paper and the check clears,” Eric Warfield, Vice President of the School Bus Drivers Union and Metro Schools bus driver, said.

This week Cooper tweeted his support for Metro School bus drivers. He is proposing a minimum annual raise of $11,000.

The increase would benefit drivers like Warfield, who has rallied for better pay in the past.

“Nashville wants to be a growing and up and coming city as it has, but that means your pay has to go with that,” Warfield said. “Your city workers have to live in the city that you are becoming.”

With plans to increase starting pay from around $16 an hour to about $22 for drivers next year, he believes it could possibly help with staffing shortages.

According to board member Fran Bush, the district has lost more than 30 drivers since July.

“The money is going to be half the issue. The other issues are going to be internal issues, but the money will be a big step in getting somebody to look at the job as a career and not just a step until they go somewhere else,” Warfield said.

The school board will discuss the budget for possible approval during Tuesday’s meeting. It would then head to Metro Council for consideration.

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