The West Chester School Board voted on Monday to approve a new three-year contract with the West Chester Area Education Support Professional Association (WCAESPA) that will save the district an estimated $753,786 over the live of the deal.
The WCAESPA consists mainly of the district’s secretaries and teacher’s aides.
This is the second contract negotiation the district has completed after the school board signed a similar deal with the West Chester support staff late in 2012.
The West Chester teachers’ union is still negotiating a new contract.
“This contract was built on a shared willingness to compromise in order to do what is right for our students,” said school board president Vince Murphy in a statement he read during Monday’s meeting. “It respectfully recognizes the vital role that WCAESPA professionals play in our schools, and the worth they provide to our district without stripping away our ability to fund our educational programs.”
The majority of the savings in the new contract comes from a renegotiated health care plan that includes cost sharing contributions.
In the first year of the deal, WCAESPA members will make a 10 percent contribution towards the district’s health care costs then an11 percent contribution the following year and a 12 percent contribution after that.
The new contract also includes a salary increase of one percent in the first year and then 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent in the subsequent years.
“Our sincere praise goes out to the West Chester Area Education Support Professionals Association,” Murphy said. “We thank you for working with us to make tonight’s contract approval a reality.”
Murphy added, “This health insurance plan mirrors the proposal that the school board has submitted to its teachers’ union. That plan is still being negotiated.”