WEST WINDSOR: School board approves three-year contract with service association

By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
WEST WINDSOR — The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District’s support staff are in line for salary increases averaging 2.59 percent over three years, under the terms of a three-year contract approved by the school board at its Dec. 15 meeting.
The 281 members of the West Windsor-Plainsboro Service Association will receive salary increases of 2.79 percent in 2015-16; 2.59 percent in 2016-17 and 2.39 percent in 2017-18. The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2015, and expires June 30, 2018.
The union represents secretaries, instructional assistants, bus drivers, bus mechanics, bus aides and cafeteria/playground aides, school board vice president Michele Kaish said. She chaired the negotiations committee, which included school board president Anthony Fleres and board members Louisa Ho and Isaac Cheng.
“The Board of Education knows that the members of the West Windsor-Plainsboro Service Association are valuable contributors to the success of the district. Their service to our students, parents and community is greatly appreciated,” Ms. Kaish said.
“I believe we reached a fiscally responsible settlement that demonstrates that the union understands the board’s desire to contain the increases in health insurance costs,” Ms. Kaish said. Among the changes is an increase in the union members’ co-pay for brand name drugs. The co-pay for generic drugs is unchanged.
Union members who receive health insurance are contributing toward the cost of the premiums for their medical and prescription drug plans, she said. The agreement also provides a cap of $15,000 — effective July 1, 2016 — for payment for unused sick days for retirees with 20 years of service to the district, she said.
The salary range for a secretary who works 10 months of the year ranges from $34,829 to $44,704 for 2015-16. In the final year of the contract, it ranges from $35,900 to $46,300.
A 12-month secretary earns from $41,447 to $53,198 for 2015-16, and from $42,721 to $55,097 for 2017-18. The salaries depend on the number of years of service.
Bus mechanics earn from $39,192 to $49,272 for 2015-16, and from $41,676 to $51,756 in 2017-18, which is the final year of the contract.
For the 2015-16 school year, the hourly rate for an instructional assistant who does not have a degree ranges from $16.56 to $21.05, and from $18.02 to $22.30 per hour for one who has a degree. An instructional assistant who is certified earns between $18.68 to $23.64.
Cafeteria aides and bus aides can earn between $13.21 and $16.09 per hour for 2015-16.
Ms. Kaish thanked the negotiations teams that represented the union and the school board “for the time and effort they devoted to reaching an agreement.” 