HAMPTON — The Hampton School Board and the Seacoast Education Support Personnel Association are pleased to announce that they have reached a three-year contract agreement for paraprofessionals.
The agreement will take effect July 1, 2022, and last through the conclusion of the 2024-2025 school year.
The Hampton Budget Committee and Hampton School Board voted unanimously in
favor of the agreement. Voters are asked to consider the adoption of Article 3 of the 2022 District warrant, which outlines the proposed agreement. The Annual District Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 8. Voting takes place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Winnacunnet High School.
Negotiators took into consideration that there are unfilled paraprofessional roles in the district, and worked to create conditions that make the Hampton School District a more desirable place to work for paraprofessionals. The agreement also is the result of a shared understanding by the District and its employees that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the landscape of education, resulting in unprecedented working conditions and an uncertain landscape for educators and paraprofessionals in the coming years.
The new contract includes salary increases that makes the rate paid to paraprofessionals in the district comparable to that of neighboring districts.
The estimated tax impact of the agreement for residents is two cents per $1,000 of valuation.
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement that takes into consideration the needs of the district, the community, students and paraprofessionals,” Superintendent Lois Costa said. “Offering salary enhancements will help us to attract and retain skilled paraprofessionals. Retaining these employees is very important. Students show their greatest improvement when they have consistency in who supports them from year to year.”
As a part of the new contract, paraprofessionals also will have the ability to accrue sick days.
“Our paraprofessionals consistently go above and beyond to ensure that our students are supported and that all their needs are met. The pandemic has made their jobs more difficult, and this agreement recognizes their value and hard work. I am very grateful for the cooperation that led to this agreement,” said School Board Chair Les Shepard.