LANSDALE – The North Penn School District (NPSD) and its two labor unions have agreed to new contracts. The NPSD Board of School Directors approved both contracts at an action meeting August 26, 2021.
“The importance of a strong, talented and committed staff has never been more apparent than it has been over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Curtis R. Dietrich, NPSD Superintendent. “The multi-year agreements we have reached with both associations will allow the district’s teachers and support staff to continue to do what they do best, which is to provide an unparalleled education to the future leaders of our community.”
The North Penn Education Association (NPEA) agreed to a three-year contract that will expire June 30, 2024. There are 1,045 employees who are represented by NPEA including classroom teachers, special area teachers, speech clinicians, school nurses and guidance counselors. The agreement includes a $1,200 salary increase per staff member in the first year (3.05 percent overall salary increase when accounting for step movement); a $1,700 salary increase per staff member in the second year (3.31 percent overall salary increase when accounting for step movement); and a $2,000 salary increase staff member in the third year (3.30 percent when accounting for step movement). It is important to note that the total package cost (2.97 percent year one, 3.5 percent year two, and 3.29 percent year three) for each year of the contract is equal to or less than the projected Act 1 index.
Total package includes costs associated with retirement, social security, health care, position grade changes, paid family leave, extra-duty compensation, unused sick leave and more.
Salary schedules are a table that outlines compensation for each school year. The horizontal rows are steps that approximate years of service. The vertical columns represent an employee’s educational achievements. As employees move through the schedule their salary increases with both column and step movement. The highest step on the table is step 16 after which there is no step movement for those individuals.
The North Penn Educational Support Professionals Association (NPESPA) agreed to a four-year contract that will expire June 30, 2025. NPESPA represents 490 employees in various support positions including secretaries, classroom assistants, technology assistants, staff nurses and specialists. The agreement includes a 2.25 percent hourly wage increase in the first year (3.39 percent when accounting for step movement); a 2.25 percent hourly wage increase in the second year (3.26 percent when accounting for step movement); a 2.55 percent hourly wage increase in the third year (3.38 percent when accounting for step movement); and a 2.5 percent hourly wage increase the last year of the contract (3.13 percent when accounting for step movement). It is important to note, that like the NPEA contract, that the total package cost (2.83 percent year one, 3.36 percent year two, 3.22 percent year three, 3.10 percent year four) for each year of the NPESPA contract is equal to or less than the projected Act 1 index.
A new concept in both associations’ contracts is a paid child rearing leave for members upon the birth or adoption of a child. This leave will be for a maximum of five consecutive days and must take place during the first 12 months after the birth or adoption. Additionally for both employee groups, the health care premium share remains at 17 percent for the life of the agreements.
“Negotiating two contracts at once is always challenging, and during a pandemic it becomes even moreso, “ commented Tina Stoll, President of the NPSD Board of School Directors. “But I believe that the administration, the school board and the leadership teams from both associations worked hard to develop contracts that are fair to all these groups and, just as important, fair to our students, families and taxpayers.”
Sean Devlin, NPEA President, continued, “In an unprecedented timeframe, both teams put maximum effort into finishing this contract before the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Now staff and administration can continue to keep their full focus on the safety and educational well being of the students and educators around them.”
Dana Koch, NPESPA President, also expressed appreciation for the work that went into reaching the agreement. “Our NPESPA members are proud of the work they do to help advance the education for our students.”