Government

Joliet improves pay for crossing guards

City hikes pay for double duty amid crossing guard shortage

Joliet crossing guards doing double duty will get a pay boost as the city tries to keep its crossings covered.

Ten school crossings in the city are currently uncovered with the staff down to 21 guards. Full staffing is 43.

The City Council last week approved the improved pay for crossing guards without discussion with an 8-0 vote.

Police, who oversee school crossings in Joliet, had previously made the case for the pay upgrade based on a scarcity of applicants for the jobs and growing unwillingness among guards to cover extra crossings.

Sgt. Jim Rouse, who heads the Joliet Police Department Traffic Division, told a council committee last month that the city had only one applicant for a crossing guard job in the past year.

The approved increase only applies when guards cover a second crossing during a day.

Guards had been receiving either $6 or $12 per extra crossing based on whether they covered the extra crossing once a day or twice for both children going to school and coming home.

“Some of these crossings require the guards to travel across town multiple times per day, and their complaint is the pay barely covers the cost of fuel and their time,” stated a staff memo on the subject.

Extra pay for covering a second crossing goes up to half the guard’s daily rate or the full rate depending on whether they cover the crossing once or twice.

Crossing guards make between $32 and $50 a day depending on when they were hired.