District 300 inks new deal with educational support staff

CARPENTERSVILLE – A new District 300 labor contract nets hundreds of educational support staff wage increases and creates savings for the Carpentersville-based school district.

The 348 employees that make up the District 300 Education Support Association will see their hourly wages increase annually by $0.35 during the next four years before seeing their wages increase by $0.45 in the final year of the five-year agreement.

During the group's last five-year contract, the support staff's hourly rates ranged from $11.31 to $20.70. The hundreds of paraprofessionals, who assist classroom teachers with instruction and supervision, annually average 1,300 work hours, said Chief Financial Officer Susan Harkin.

After negotiating the new agreement, both sides agreed to lower the starting hourly rates for new hires by $1.75.
"The district will secure savings from new hires by the lowering of the beginning hourly rate, from $11.31 to $9.56," Harkin said.

The overall cost of the new agreement to the district is 2 percent, Harkin said.

Board members unanimously approved the contract on Monday without debate. The association ratified the agreement earlier this summer.