When most people think of school employees they naturally think of the teachers, the administration and maybe the custodians.
However, some would call the members of the Dixon Educational Support Personnel Association the unsung heroes. These are the people who work as teacher’s aides as well as doing several other jobs around the schools.
Since June the members of DESPA have been working without a contract. However, recently a new three year Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached and approved by the union. The deal was signed Wednesday night.
Representatives of DESPA said they were very happy with the gains they were able to make with this new deal. One of the gains was a modest bump in salary.
Another improvement for DESPA is the number of employees and the hours they will be working.
According to the agreement five new members will be added to the staff over the next year. In the following year, three more will be added. Each of these employees will begin at 35 hours per week. In the past, when a DESPA member quit or retired the replacement could only work 29 hours per week. This deal ensures replacements and new employees will begin at 35 hours per week.