CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced a new hiring and retention incentives program aimed at filling vacancies in four critical shortage areas, including bus drivers and substitute teachers.
The four areas with shortages in the 2021-22 school year are bus drivers, exceptional children teachers, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians and substitute teachers.
CMS announced it will offer all new drivers a $1,000 recruitment bonus as long as they participate in a training class no later than Sept. 30. This group also includes drivers who were hired prior to Wednesday's announcement who are starting work this school year. In June, CMS announced bus driver starting pay was $15.75 an hour with all drivers being eligible for benefits.
CMS is offering a $2,500 recruiting bonus for all exceptional children teachers hired by Sept. 30. Teachers who were hired prior to the announcement who are starting with this district in the 2021-22 school year are also eligible for the bonus.
HVAC technicians hired between Aug. 23 and Sept. 30 are eligible for a $1,000 recruiting bonus. CMS is also going to provide a $250 bonus for substitute teachers hired on or before Aug. 23 who complete a minimum of 10 assignments by Oct. 30.
CMS said these bonuses, with the exception of substitute teachers, will be paid in two installments: one in November and one in March. To be eligible, all employees must remain in active status at the time of each payment. Substitute teachers will receive their full $250 in November.
"With current labor shortages locally and nationwide exacerbated by the pandemic, we are excited that we can offer these incentives to recruit and retain qualified and diverse team members," Chief Human Resources Officer Christine Pejot said. "We look forward to welcoming new team members and recognizing our current transportation staff who are committed to providing students with the best learning environment possible."
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