District and NESPA bargaining unit announce contract agreement

Joint Release – Niskayuna Central School District and the Niskayuna Educational Support Personnel Association (NESPA)

Board of Education approves NESPA contract agreement through 2023

At its meeting on June 18, the Board of Education approved a contract agreement with the Niskayuna Educational Support Personnel Association that provides wage increases for current unit employees and boosts starting salaries in each of the next four years. The agreement was ratified by the association, known as NESPA, on Monday of this week.

The unit includes approximately 180 employees who serve as clerical assistants, supervisory clerical assistants, educational assistants, teaching assistants and certified occupational therapist assistants in the district.

“As with all of our employees, NESPA members provide important services to our student and schools every day and we value them greatly,” said Board of Education President Jack Calareso. “I appreciate that the talks leading to this outcome were incredibly productive and I believe the deal is fair to all stakeholders.”

The agreement calls for a 95-cent raise in hourly rates for current unit members and a 95-cent increase in the starting hourly salary for 2019-20 and 85-cent increases in both for the subsequent three years. It also includes provisions that address retiree insurance coverage, leave time, longevity and insurance coverage.

Carol Ann Townsend, President of the Association said, “NESPA appreciates that the District worked with us to address many of our concerns through this most recent contract. We are looking forward to continuing to partner with the District to best serve our students, our members, and the community.”

The contract approval means that over the last two years, the district has reached agreements with its five instructional and support staff units that go through 2020, 2022 or 2023, depending upon the unit.

“These contracts are in essence partnership agreements representing our mutual commitment to work together on behalf of our students,” said Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. “Our employees are critical part of the fabric of our schools and community. I’m pleased that we have reached these agreements and confident that we will continue to strengthen these partnerships as we move forward together.”