Connecticut Paraeducators Secure 25 Percent Wage Increase

February 10, 2024

After their last contract with the Windsor Locks Board of Education, members of the UE Local 222 Sublocal 4 negotiating committee continued to meet every six to eight weeks to see how things were going and what they would fight for in the next contract. When it came time to negotiate a new contract in 2023, these seasoned veterans all brought their stories to the table, did their research, and stood firm with management when they would question them on an issue.

The prime goal of the Sublocal 4 negotiation team and membership was to increase their wages. In comparison to surrounding towns, they were paid two to three dollars per hour less. It was making it difficult to hire new people, with the schools relying on the existing paraeducators to cover more students during a the course of a school year.

Other issues important to the members included increasing the stipend Job Coaches receive for the extra responsibilities of driving with students by themselves, and the fact that paraeducators are often covering classrooms while teachers are absent. Also important to some paraeducators was the ability to decline subbing with no retaliation from management.

The new contract delivered on all fronts. Sublocal 4 members will receive a 25 percent wage increase for the first of year of their contract, retroactive to July 1, 2023. The second and third year, they will receive five percent increases.

The stipend for Job Coaches was raised from two to three dollars per hour, and paraeducators will now be paid an extra $4.50 for each part of a half hour they are managing a classroom alone.

Members’ sick leave of 12 days per school year will now be fully available at the beginning of the year. The negotiating committee successfully argued that this was necessary because of the number of days members are still having to be out of work because of COVID-19.

Paraeducators will now be able to receive $50.00 per college credit if they are taking an accredited course toward an educational program. Also, those paraeducators that need to fulfill internship hours may do so without pay if it doesn’t interfere with the operation of the school day.

After a unanimous ratification vote by the members, the Board of Education approved the contract in late December, and the members of Sublcoal 4 celebrated the New Year with some impressive retro checks.

The Sublocal 4 negotiating committee consisted of Janine Liddel, Tracey Rand, Karen Walker, Lisa Quagliaroli, Emily Kalenauskas, and Alison Green. They were assisted by Field Organizer Annie Bulger MacDonald.


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