Princeton schools support staff settle contract

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Princeton Public Schools support staff – from maintenance and facilities personnel to secretaries and classroom aides – are in line for a 2.99% salary increase, under the terms of a one-year contract approved by the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education.

The school board unanimously approved the one-year contract between the school district and the Princeton Regional Educational Support Staff Association, which runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, at its Sept. 9 meeting.

Board member Dafna Kendal, who announced the agreement between the board and the union, acknowledged that the support staff’s work is “vital for our students.”

“It is so important that we begin the school year with our employees knowing we wanted to have them under contract. We wouldn’t be anything without our staff,” Kendal sad.

Union representatives Ashante Thompson and Eric Karch thanked the members of the negotiations teams that represented the board and the union for their hard work. It took many hours to reach the agreement, Thompson said, adding that “we are happy.”

“It is a nice, smooth transition. We are very excited,” Karch said.

Under the contract, the starting salary for a custodian is $28,205 and reaches a maximum of $68,708. A utility maintenance worker begins at $35,773 and tops out at $77,460. A carpenter-electrical-mechanic technician’s salary begins at $42,662 and reaches a top salary of $85,250.

A clerk typist-receptionist’s salary starts at $27,165 and tops out at $48,531. An executive secretary’s salary range is $43,906 to $91,508. An administrative secretary starts at $37,444 and reaches $72,206, while an administrative secretary at the middle school and high school has a salary range of $38,358 to $75,728.

A senior bookkeeper will be paid between $35,805 and $77,122. A purchasing agent-technical support assistant will have a starting salary of $36,359 and a maximum of $79,888.

Full-time instructional aides will start at $21,153 and may earn up to $54,312. Full-time aides who are assigned to students who are physically challenged and who require medical or sanitary assistance and aides who work in classes for autistic children receive a $6,000 stipend.

Part-time instructional aides are paid $16.78 per hour if they are hired from outside of the school district, and $18.50 if they are hired from within the district. They earn a stipend of $4,200 if they are assigned to students who are physically challenged and who require medical or sanitary assistance, and who work in classes with autistic children.

Playground, cafeteria, library and transportation part-time aides are paid $12.42 per hour.

Full-time Princeton Regional Educational Support Staff Association employees receive longevity pay that starts at $800 when they reach 12 years of service, and peaks at $2,400 after 30 or more years of service to the Princeton Public Schools.