SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– The Springfield School Committee has approved a contract between the Springfield Public Schools (SPS) and the Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals after two years of negotiations.

The new contract includes an increase in salary to $18 an hour, additional holiday pay, and paid professional development. The union ratified the contract by a vote of 95 percent on April 13th and it was approved by the School Committee on April 14.

“I’d like to thank the School Committee for their generous offer for paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals perform a valuable service in our classrooms, and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to negotiate a contract that increases their compensation and provides other significant benefits,” said Warwick.

“I am very pleased that we were able to come to an agreement that increased the wages for all paraprofessionals’, added another paid holiday to our schedule and allowed us to continue to benefit from quality professional development opportunities,” said Catherine Mastronardi, president of the Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals, also known as the paraprofessionals’ union.

The salary increases will be made retroactive to July 2020 under the proposed four-year agreement.