A pay increase is coming for some crossing guards in Cincinnati
Crossing guards in Cincinnati will see pay increases from $11 per hour to $15 per hour to combat a recent shortage of personnel.
City and school leaders addressed the pay increase during a press conference at the corner of Ferguson Road and Prosperity Place near Western Hills and Dater high schools Wednesday. Roughly 150 crossing guards are employed by the city, but are paid for by Cincinnati Public Schools. Toward the end of the 2021-22 school year, there were 44 vacancies among crossing guards, roughly a third of the total positions.
The city and the school district hope the increase will attract more people to apply for the positions. CPS Superintendent Iranetta Wright says wages across the country have gone up, and that’s what led the school board and city to increase pay.
“Just like with anything, we have to monitor to see whether or not there is going to actually be an increase in the number of crossing guards so that we will then determine what we will do next,” Wright said. “It’s a place to start.”
According to CPS’s website, crossing guards work roughly 1.5 hours a day but will be paid for three hours of work. Crossing guards only work when school is in session. They will also be paid for training prior to the first day on the job and all gear is provided, including a safety vest, jacket and flag.
Assistant City Manager Sheryl Long says people interested in the open positions should consider the need to keep children safe while walking to school.
“I would just ask people consider that when they’re thinking of this, and what better way to spend more time with your child and your friends then to also try to help them make sure they get to and from school,” Long said. “We have a lot of challenges these days and safety in school is very important. I think also just looking forward and raising a hand and saying, ‘I can help out in this' would be helpful.”
City Council Member Mark Jeffreys says 207 people have been hit by vehicles this year in Cincinnati. Last year, there were over 300 incidents.
“The current pace we’re on, there would be more this year than any year in the past decade,” Jeffreys said. “This is a huge challenge. These are not faceless people. These are obviously our neighbors, people who will not be going to graduations this spring; will not be doing July 4th cookouts, Thanksgiving dinners. These are lives cut short and we have to be mindful of that. It’s not just a number.”