The Naperville 203 Board of Education and the Naperville Transportation Association (NTA) have reached an agreement on a new five-year contract that will increase wages for bus drivers and mechanics by $1.50-$3 per hour in the first year.
The contract, which runs through 2026, was officially approved by the board at its Monday, March 21 meeting. The agreement also provides bus drivers and mechanics with a one-time payment of $1,000, matching a payment previously provided to other employee groups in the district.
“We are so pleased to have reached an agreement with NTA that both fairly compensates our current employees, who work so hard for us on a daily basis, and provides Naperville 203 with the ability to offer a competitive starting wage that will attract more drivers and allow us to address a current shortage,” Board President Kristin Fitzgerald said.
Following the approval of the contract, Naperville 203’s starting wage for bus drivers now ranks among the highest of school districts in the area. The starting hourly pay is increasing from $17.41 to $20.67.
The contract also includes increases of at least $1.50 in each step of the salary schedule and the ability for new drivers and mechanics to begin at Step 2 of the salary schedule, if appropriate. All wages are retroactive to July 1, 2021.
“Our NTA team worked diligently to bring wages and satisfaction items up to pace with other surrounding districts,” NTA President Mark Hanson said. “In the end, Naperville 203 and NTA members know there is a huge shortage of bus drivers, and it is imperative that we keep Naperville 203 competitive in attracting excellent and loyal drivers who will continue to responsibly drive students to and from school and events safely and securely.”