HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — The USD 308 Board of Education approved a pay increase for bus drivers contracted through Durham School Services at a meeting on Tuesday.

In the addendum to their current contract for student bus transportation with Durham School Services, the Hutchinson Public Schools administration requested a 6.1% increase as opposed to the 3% it is currently.

USD 308 said the additional 3.1% will allow Durham School Services to “stay competitive in recruiting drivers, monitors, mechanics, and administrative staff.”

The board also said that they intend to provide a retention bonus to current drivers and monitors with the funds.

The total cost for the increase is roughly $20,300 for the 2022-2023 school year. District administrators and board members supported the increase.

“The funds for Durham School Services are to provide a pay increase for the 2022-2023 school year. As with all employees, we want to retain our bus drivers as well. We hope this pay increase lets our bus drivers know that we value them and the service they provide the students of USD 308,” said USD 308 Superintendent Dr. Dawn M. Johnson in a news release.