A big hole that needs to be filled – the Rockford Public School District struggles with short staffing issues for bus drivers and nutrition service workers.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday night approving a financial incentive deal for bus drivers and nutrition workers in the district.
The incentives include a bonus every pay period that an employee has perfect attendance and a retention bonus at the end of the year. RPS board president Jude Makulec says more recently the district has seen an increase in bus driver applications, she hopes with the financial incentive that trend will continue.
“Even just increasing the number of hires doesn’t guarantee that everybody will be at work every day and so maybe by having a little bit of an extra incentive that if you have a perfect pay period, a perfect attendance during a pay period that you’re gonna get this bonus,” Makulec said.
Nutrition service worker for the district, LaQuisha Blake says a bonus like this is crucial for struggling workers, especially during the pandemic.
“We are short, we’re short all over the school district so with this, we’re trying to bring in new employees and plus keep our old employees to let them know that we are here, we care, so we’re trying to do something to show them that we know it’s hard,” Blake said.
This financial incentive is only for this school year but Makulec says it can always be re-addressed if it’s still an issue next school year.
It does apply to current employees as well so if a bus driver of nutrition service worker has perfect attendance this next pay period they should see an extra $200 by Halloween weekend.