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Naperville 203 Board of Education approves new contract for support staff

The Naperville 203 Board of Education has approved a new, three-year contract with the Naperville Education Support Professionals Association (NESPA) that ensures a fair rate of pay for the district’s support staff by providing those whose employment began prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year with a raise of $1 per hour in each year of the contract.

The agreement, which previously received NESPA approval through a membership vote, was officially approved by the Board of Education during its Monday, Dec. 6 meeting. The contract becomes effective immediately and runs through June 30, 2024.

“I am so thankful to have a contract in place that shows our district’s appreciation for the valued members of our support staff,” Naperville 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said. “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.”

In addition to the annual raises, all bargaining unit members will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000. All employees covered by the contract will receive an additional five sick days in the 2021-2022 school year, increasing from 15 sick days to 20. The new agreement also includes language to provide retroactive pay.

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 for employees who start within the life of the contract.

“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,” the NESPA bargaining team said.

Other highlights of the contract include increased pay for employees who work lunch duty or ride the bus with students who need extra support, increased training opportunities when new technology or initiatives are introduced, and the Board of Education continuing to pay 85 percent of health insurance premiums for those who elect to take the coverage.

“I am thrilled we were able to come to an agreement that both rewards our dedicated employees with increased compensation, and allows for continued financial sustainability in our district,”  Naperville 203 Board of Education President Kristin Fitzgerald said.