SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — Ozark Regional Transit is pushing for a pay raise for its employees.
Executive director Joel Gardner says he’s asking for more money from local governments that help fund it.
Starting wages for drivers is $10.50 an hour, mechanics $14 an hour, administrative at $10.50-$12.25 an hour, and dispatchers $13.
Gardner says he’s asking to increase that by $3 to stay competitive and help retain employees.
If approved, he acknowledges it likely won’t be all at once, but in increments.
“One way or another we’re going to make this happen. We can either do it through a contribution by the entities or by cutting hours of service, but I’ve got to get the employees at least this year an additional dollar and hour, and an additional two hours a dollars an hour to make us competitive,” Gardner said.
According to data from ORT, so far in 2019, the turnover rate is 55% due to wages.
If wages were raised one dollar, the total cost for Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, and Washington and Benton Counties would total $145,327.00.