District 203 Approves New Contract
The Naperville School District 203 Board of Education approved a new, three-year contract with the Naperville Education Support Professionals Association (NESPA). The agreement, previously ratified by NESPA, provides those who began employment before the 2021-2022 school year with a raise of $1 per hour in each year of the contract.
“I am so thankful to have a contract in place that shows our district’s appreciation for the valued members of our support staff,” said Naperville School District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges in a press release. “I am grateful for the continued efforts of our NESPA bargaining team, the Board of Education and our district administration, which made it possible to reach an agreement that is both fair and fiscally responsible.”
“After over six months of negotiations we are hopeful this contract puts NESPA on a path towards equity and fair wages for all of our members as they continue to faithfully serve our community with excellence,” said the NESPA bargaining team in a statement.
What’s Included in the New Contract?
In addition to the annual raises, all NESPA members will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus, an additional five sick days in the 2021-2022 school year, and retroactive pay. Employees who work lunch duty or ride the bus with students who need extra support will receive more pay. The district will continue to pay 85% of health insurance premiums for those who choose.
“I would just like to end by saying how thrilled the board and district are to be able to come to an agreement that both rewards our dedicated staff members with the increased compensation as well as allowing for continued financial stability for the district,” said Kristin Fitzgerald, District 203 board president at Monday’s board meeting.
In an effort to “attract new, high-quality employees” to the district, a new starting wage table has been created to offer “competitive starting wages,” according to the district. The contract becomes effective immediately and runs through June 30, 2024.
NESPA includes support staff like teacher assistants, special education assistants, campus supervisors, and health techs. The union and district had been in negotiations since May. Staff had continued to work under an expired contract.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.