Iowa City Community School District approves bus driver COVID–19 stipend

ICCSD school board provided a $77,250 payment to 103 bus drivers, following a request from bus drivers to provide a 25-percent pay increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Grace Kreber

The Iowa City Community School District held a meeting at the professional development center at 6 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 7, 2022.

Lillian Poulsen, Senior Reporter

The Iowa City Community School District is providing $750 COVID-19 stipends to its school bus drivers.

The decision comes after Teamsters 238 — a union representing Iowa City Community School District bus drivers — asked for a 25-percent pay increase in September for working in hazardous conditions.

The Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors unanimously approved the measure during its Tuesday meeting. The district extended the stipend to bus drivers to recognize their ongoing efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While not employed by the District, Iowa City Community School District values the partnership with our bus drivers and their critical role in student success,” the school board’s agenda said.

On Jan. 13, Leslie Finger, Iowa City Community School District Chief Financial Officer, sent a request to Peggy Grimm, Iowa City Community School District Accounts Payable Specialist, to provide a $77,250 payment to Illinois Central School Bus LLC.

Illinois Central School Bus LLC, which employs Iowa City Community School District bus drivers, will pay a stipend to employees who worked from Sept. 1, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2022. 103 bus drivers will receive this stipend, the request said.

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Five members of Teamsters requested the additional pay at the Iowa City Community School District board meeting on Sept. 29.

Illinois Central School bus drivers are paid $17.81 an hour, which makes their salaries about $37,000 a year if they work 40 hours a week. A 25-percent pay increase would be about $9,250 per year.

Dan Ramsey, an Iowa City school bus driver and chief steward of Teamsters 238, said bus drivers are essential workers and their pay should reflect that. The stipend shows that the district cares about its drivers and recognizes that bus drivers are an important part of the community, he said at the meeting.

Ramsey thanked the board for the approval of stipends at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We greatly appreciate the recognition and inclusion in this funding,” Ramsey said. “We feel that we are respected and appreciated members of the district family.”