How much do School Bus Drivers make?

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Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
How much do School Bus Drivers make?

I happened to be glancing at Brunswick School Department payroll data, and something caught my eye. Two years ago, the most recent data I have on hand, School Bus Drivers were being paid nearly $38,000 per year.

I haven't seen their contracts, but I'm assuming that like most other government employees, they get damn fine benefits to go along with that.

For years, I've blithely assumed these were "part time" jobs, largely filled by moms and retired men or those with other part time jobs.

Presuming they make at least $39,000 this year, that works out to about $1,000 in salary per week. Maybe I'm way off here, but I would expect they work no more than 4 hours a day....2 hours tops in the morning, and 2 hours tops at the end of the day. That's 20 hours a week, or $50 an hour.

Does this seem reasonable? How many Mainer's (and American's) would give their left arms to make that much an hour?

For reference, a teacher in Brunswick with a Master's Degree and 5 years experience makes $39,000.

Do I have the wrong understanding of this job? Any other data points from AMG'ers?

(I expect some number of "there isn't enough money in the world for me to take that job" and "that's not nearly enough for keeping our children safe" responses. I'd still like to see some comparative data. And how many EMT's and other public safety folks make $50 an hour?)

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Most bus drivers I know make

Most bus drivers I know make far less than that. Are you sure the numbers you have are accurate? $10-15K seem more like it.

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
That's why I'm asking; it's

That's why I'm asking; it's right off the payroll files provided to Maine Open Government.

PM me with an email address, and I'll send you the file.

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Let me give you some figures

Let me give you some figures from the 09-10 school budget:

Transportation Services:

Salaries: $819,825

Benefits: $398,010

Includes 14 year round drivers; 5 school year only drivers; 2 mechanics A supervisor at about $59,000 and a clerk at $35,000 are included in that figure.

Which figures out to an average of $35,000 for the drivers and mechanics.

I have no idea why they have 14 "year round" drivers, and only 5 "school year only" drivers. Maybe it's for day trips to the beaches.

Interestingly, two years earlier, salaries for drivers and mechanics were $40,000 higher; I believe they dropped at least one driver. But two years earlier, benefits were $283,000 vis-a-vis the $398,000 figure.

Wow....an increase of 40% in two years for benefits, for a smaller crew!

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Mel does Brunswick run a

Mel does Brunswick run a summer school program making it a legitimate use of staff ?
It would be interesting to see the school schedules and bus schedules. Given geography of town i.e. distances and different schools I would not be surprised that your hours per day estimate is low.
Also limits of where kids in town are allowed to be bused. All these are factors.

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
I am not aware of any summer

I am not aware of any summer school programs.

And I understand the miles issue, but that is part of why we have so many routes. And we are highly concentrated compared to lots of other locations in Maine.

We're almost at the edge of town ourselves on the SW side, and we're 3 miles to the center of town, and less than that to what would be 'our schools.'

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Mel, try town line w/ Durham

Mel, try town line w/ Durham to high school on the bay(sarcasm)!
Geographically Brunswick is fairly large 44 sq. miles w/ the majority of population concentrated on lower half of that area.

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Are you telling me the

Are you telling me the morning run is 4 hours? That doesn't make sense on any level.

Same for the afternoon run.

NancyEH
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Joined: 12/12/2010 - 8:23pm
Many school systems have

Many school systems have year-round positions for individuals who do custodial/maintenance/repair work all year round and drive bus during the school year. At $14 per hour, that's about $29,000 per year w/o benefits - hardly a fortune, although I don't understand why Republicans are so adverse to public jobs being paid a living wage.

I'm sure the school department would love to have you apply to be a bus driver - part-time or substitute - since those positions are often difficult to fill. Then, you get up at 5 am to start the bus/perform the safety check at 6 am before heading out at 6:30 for an hour-long run ($21 for 1.5 hours). You can then go home and wait to do the same at 1:30 for the same hour-long run ($17.50 assuming a 15-minute safety check). No benefits, by the way, which should make your conservative heart happy. Have fun!

Watcher
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Joined: 03/23/2008 - 12:32pm
Lets see if I understand

Lets see if I understand NancyEH's reasoning here. I am applying for a bus driver job which I am told pays $13/hr and provides no benefits. I get the job and then I start yelling..What the hell, this job only pays $13/hr and provides no benefits. How do these cheap SOB's expect me to support my wife, girl friend and raise my 8 or so kids!

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
NancyEH: Did you even read

NancyEH: Did you even read the prior posts, with figures extracted from an actual town budget? Including benefits?

Apparently not.

You describe a 3 hour work day in your post. What time you have to get up to be at work on time is a personal problem; I know of no one who gets paid for the time between when they get up, and when they are scheduled to be at work. Or the time it takes to get home at the end of their shift.

That works out to $50 an hour give or take plus benefits under your scenario. Most people would consider that a 'living wage,' except those who work for government.

Maybe you'd like to delete your comment; it makes no sense at all.

Thanks for helping to clear things up.

pmconusa
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Joined: 04/20/2000 - 12:01am
Drivers of the Brunswick

Drivers of the Brunswick Explorer make $13/hr. and work 8 hours per day but work only 3 days per week, allowing their employer to escape paying benefits. They hold the same licence as those driving the school buses. The salary you quote at $38,000 per year is base pay. If they get the same health insurance benefits as the teachers, you can add at least $12,000 per year to that figure and that's after you take out the 7.5% they kick in. If they participate in the the same pension plan as the teachers, you can also add 33.5% of their base pay to fund the annuity which will pay them their retirement. When you add that up you get $62,730.

If you want to create efficiency you would combine the bus driving with the custodian services and have two shifts. One would work from 6:00AM to noon and the other from noon to 6:00PM. That way you get the kids back and forth to school and keep the schools clean as well.

Reaganite
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Joined: 06/21/2008 - 4:05pm
Not to worry. Nancy has

Not to worry. Nancy has performed her typical hit and run posting. You'll likely not be confronted with her "logic" again in this thread.

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
I wonder did she get hit by a

I wonder did she get hit by a bus in years past

Lori
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Joined: 12/31/2011 - 10:23am
The bus drivers in my

The bus drivers in my district don't get anywhere near $38k. The "full-time" drivers are the ones who drive for school field trips and to games and such. They get paid by the hour, not a salary. They do get benefits, but not nearly as much as the teachers (who do have good insurance, but not as good as the state workers.) They are under appreciated and have a tough job. It's no wonder they can't find enough drivers.

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
I can't speak for other

I can't speak for other districts, just Brunswick, for which I have data provided by the state, which was clearly submitted to them by the town. And recent budget documents as well.

I don't see how the numbers can be argued away.

Perhaps you all need to find the same documents in your jurisdiction, and update your understanding if it is anecdotal.

I believe the Maine Open Government site has data for all school districts.

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