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North Hills School District, support personnel reach agreement on contract

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

North Hills School District support personnel have a new contract after working for about a year under the terms of one that expired, and the new contract provides an average pay increase of 3.5 percent for this school year, district officials said.

The school board approved a four-year contract with the North Hills Educational Support Personnel Association on Aug. 19, school district officials said. The union represents 125 North Hills employees, including paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, licensed practical nurses, clerks, building-level computer technicians and nearly all secretaries.

Union members ratified the contract, which runs through June 2016, on Aug. 14, school district officials said.

Employees had been working under the terms of a contract that expired June 30, 2012.

Employees accepted a wage freeze for the contract's first year, which was the last school year. The average salary increase will be 3.5 percent this year, the second year of the contract; 2.23 percent in the third year and 1.81 percent in the fourth and final year, district officials said.

The four-year agreement works out to “no increase in the first year, a 20-cent increase in 2013-14 and 25 cents in 2014-15 and 2015-16,” said Dan Carey, regional field director of the Pennsylvania State Teachers Association, with which the local union is affiliated.

Carey said the terms of the agreement are “not unusual in this day and age with district budget constraints.”

The contract represents a sustainable compromise by employees and the school board at a time when district funding is uncertain, school board President Timothy Burnett said.

The new contract includes wages and salary increases in line with the district's recently negotiated contracts with custodial and maintenance staff, food-service employees and teachers, district officials said.

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