ALPENA – The Alpena Public Schools School Board on Monday approved a three-year contract with the union representing paraprofessionals, security and librarians in the district.
The negotiated contract includes an increase of 90 cents per hour in 2021-2022 and an increase of 25 cents per hour in 2022-2023 and 2023-24, according to a press release from the Alpena Educational Support Professionals II Association.
Each employee in the unit will also receive an off-schedule allowance of $ 500 over the three years, one paid holiday – one more paid holiday than previously received employees – and an opportunity for the district to buy back up to five. unused sick days for each paraprofessional. annually with certain conditions.
The district’s self-funded insurance plan, which is a health savings account, will continue, with the district providing $ 450 for individual subscribers and $ 900 for family coverage when the employee pays the same. amount in his account.
In addition, the paraprofessional float program has been fully incorporated into the contract, which allows the district to use paraprofessionals in each building to cover absent paraprofessionals.
Alpena ESP II chairman Jan Kaiser said in the statement that it was a “Long and arduous process”, but it’s one of the best deals she’s seen in a long time.
Paraprofessionals began negotiating in March.
Superintendent Dave Rabbideau said Monday he was happy the contract had been approved.
“If this year had been more normal, I would have hoped to be settled well before the 30”, he said. “It’s a good progression in crazy times. I hope to settle in soon with the other two units.
Michigan Education Association director of UniServ Deb Larson said in the statement that although it took 11 years, this is the first time that wages will exceed the 10% pay cut that employees have made. suffered in 2013.
“These are some of the lowest paid employees in the district”, she said. “It’s great to see these paraprofessionals come back and move past the past pay cuts. With the increase in education funding, we hope to continue to improve the salaries and benefits of these employees in the future.
There are approximately 116 employees in the ESP II union.
The contracts for teachers and district bus drivers expired on Wednesday, although Larson said the teachers’ union extended his contract until August 31. Larson said she requested the same extension for bus drivers, but the district did not respond.