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Save The Date – Join us to learn how we are fighting for you and how you can help bring rESPect

Please plan to join us!
 ESPs truly are the backbone of every school community. They play a critical role in the lives of our students and our schools. They are some of the most valuable people in a building and their value is so often overlooked when districts/universities are looking at their budgets. Join us to learn how you can help build a movement of rESPect. It’s time we start treating them that way!

It is time to EDUCATE!

Click to join Zoom meeting

Meeting ID: 361 562 2707
Passcode: 647586

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Happy Saturday!

Today is August 13th…how can that be? School is right around the corner for most while some are already back in session. My hope for you today is for you to take a few moments to remember that what you do as a education support professional (ESP) is extremely important for the success of our students, colleagues, and school districts.

You matter! What you do matters! Thank you for all you do!!

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Vote YES for Workers’ Rights Amendment? Why?

Amendment 1  “Workers Rights Amendment”

Amendment 1 Would Constitutionally Protect Our Rights:

“Right to organize and to bargain collectively” *Prohibit any law  “that interferes with, negates or diminishes” that right. It would also Prohibit “Right-to-Work” laws in the Private Sector.

Public Sector unions are prohibited from negotiating “Fair Share” by the U.S. Supreme Court (Janus)

Protect our Voice and Our Rights

•The current Educational Labor Relations Act could be repealed or radically changed by a simple majority of the General Assembly.

•IELRA has changed several times since its passage.

•Passage of Workers Rights Amendment on November 8 would require “Supermajorites” of the Legislature and Voters to Repeal our Rights.

Sign the Pledge to Vote Yes

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One Conference Registration is Open

Funding options available – Apply for funding using link below. You may also get funding from your local and/or region IEA office.

September 30 – October 1
DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chicago-Oak Brook
Oak Brook, IL

Please join us for the 2022 One Conference for IEA Education Support Professionals, Higher Education, and IEA Retired members. The two-day event will offer a variety of elective sessions and feature keynote speaker, Mary Kusler, Senior Director, Center for Advocacy – National Education Association.

Hotel | Session Times | Session Descriptions | Agenda

Registration Fee: $20 per registrant prior to the event; $30 per registrant onsite.

Registration Deadline: Friday, September 26, 2022 at noon

Hotel Reservations
Participants needing to reserve a hotel room for the night can do so at One Conference Hotel. Housing closes on September 21, 2022 at noon.

Funding Application
IEA request for funding application for the One Conference, due by August 29.

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Save The Date

Please plan to join us!
 

ESPs truly are the backbone of every school community. They play a critical role in the lives of our students and our schools. They are some of the most valuable people in a building and their value is so often overlooked when districts/universities are looking at their budgets. Join us to learn how you can help build a movement of rESPect. It’s time we start treating them that way!

It is time to EDUCATE!

Click to join Zoom meeting

Meeting ID: 361 562 2707
Passcode: 647586

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Don’t Miss Out! Saturday Mornings with the NRCP kicks off next month!

Join us on the Second Saturday of each month from 10 am-12 pm Mountain Time for exciting topics and presenters! The schedule for the next 12 months will be:

August 13, 2022 – Working Effectively with Students with Challenging and Severe BehaviorsPresenter: Glenn Dyke
September 10, 2022 – Teachers and Paraeducators Team Teaching in the Classroom: Enhancing Communication Between Paraeducators and General Education TeachersPresenters: Deb Andrews and Marilyn Likins
October 8, 2022 – Autism/Non-Verbal Training/StrategiesPresenter: Katie Harris
November 12, 2022 – Paraeducator Roles and Responsibilities: IDEA, IEP’s, and BIP’s! Oh my!Presenter: Christine Manning
December 10, 2022 – Dispelling the Myths of Unreachable, Unteachable, and Uncaring StudentsPresenter: Dave Forbush
January 14, 2023 – 10 Ways to Help the Non-worker: Jumpstarting Work Completion BehaviorPresenter: Melisa Genaux
February 11, 2023 – Best Practices and Tools to Help Students LearnPresenter: Jeri Rigby
March 11, 2023 – Strategies for AnxietyPresenter: Alex Langevin
April 8, 2023 – Understanding and Supporting Social-Emotional GrowthPresenter: TBA 
May 13, 2023 – Effective Behavior Management Strategies for the Classroom: Practical MagicPresenter: Melisa Genaux
June 10, 2023 – Parents and Students with Disabilities Panel: Stories and Lessons LearnedPresenter: Kimberly Hutter
July 8, 2023 – The Necessity for Ongoing Paraeducator Preparation: Before and Throughout EmploymentPresenter: Marilyn Likins

Don’t Miss Out on this amazing opportunity to have one year of professional development at an affordable price of $25 per webinar! Group discounts are available! Register today!

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Are you interested in racial, social, and educational justice?

The IEA and the Opportunity Coalition are pleased to announce the Leaders for Just Schools cohort for the 2022-23 school year. The instructors are state and local leaders, award winning educators and experienced community organizers who will help you build momentum for change in your local schools and communities. Cohort members who successfully complete the program will receive a micro credential and will have the opportunity to earn an organizing stipend to continue the work.

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Your Vote, Your Voice Matters!

Together we can make a difference!

Voting for public education means voting for candidates who will support our students, our public schools and our union. Visit IEA Votes for campaign resources, including the school Board Election Toolkit, your Voter Guide, and IPACE recommended candidates.

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rESPect Campaign Advocating for Members – Join Today!

Yesterday, a fabulous group of IEA members and IEA staff met virtually to discuss, organize, advocate, and grow rESPect for education support professionals throughout Illinois.

Far to many education support professionals barely make minimum wage while they provide some of the most important work in our schools and universities. We are some of the first people to greet students when they arrive, who give students the academic support they need to become successful scholars, who carefully assist with their health, safety, and nutritional needs, and are the last people who see students safely home at the end of the day. The value of our work is priceless.

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NEA RA in review!

It was an exhausting 4 days…but I’m always amazed of the good work that is accomplished!!

Click the link to looking back on the four days of the 2022 Representative Assembly, where 6,000 educators gathered to shape the future of public education and our union. Check out RA in review: https://bit.ly/3bYbXoH

Just imagine around 6000 people in-person and virtual, debating new business items, legislative amendments, and resolutions submitted by members. It is amazing!!

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Getting Ready to Represent at the National Education Association Representative Assembly

Bringing Education Support Professional Issues to the Table!!

I am preparing to travel to Chicago with about 8,000 of my closest union friends. The experience is indescribable!! We will discuss, debate, and vote on many items that will direct the corse of our union.

One extremely important item on the agenda is new more powerful language that adds the essential work of support staff in public education, prek-12 and higher ed, to the NEA Legislative Platform. Your Education Support Professional Council submitted this language and is excited to lobby for its approval.

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What Is Your Union Doing For You? Well…..Let’s Chat.

What Is rESPect And Why Do We Deserve It?

RESPECT | Raising Education Support Professionals by Elevating Careers Together is a statewide effort by Education Support Professionals, with the support of IEA staff, to improve working conditions by focusing on five areas:

  • Wages – A minimum salary, fair substitute teaching compensation and unemployment insurance
  • Health insurance – Affordable health insurance for the currently employed and the retired
  • Pensions – Making the Tier 2 pension system equitable for all education employees
  • Retention and recruitment – Tuition reimbursement, Grow Your Own Teacher from ESP to certified, quality professional development, paid family leave and licensing fees relief
  • Job duties – Quality job-related professional development, “hold harmless” language for assigned duties, appropriate access to IEPs and suitable job duties for ESPs

Click to learn more, share your story, and join a movement that will change education as we know it. Why join? Much of what we want to accomplish will be through legislative actions. We need to have a loud unified VOICE behind these bills when a time for action is called. We need your voice!

Support staff are typically the first to arrive at school as they unlock doors and turn on lights. They are some of the first people to greet students when they arrive at school in the morning, who give students the academic support they need to become successful scholars, who carefully assist with their health, safety, and nutritional needs, and are the last people who see students safely home at the end of the day. The value of their work is priceless.

So it’s time we start treating them that way! Join today so we can build our strength and raise our voice from a wisper to a roar.

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Register Today! Funding available in your local or region office

Funding is available!

You can still requesst funding from your IEA local and/or region chair. If you don’t know who your region chair is please contact a representative from your local and they can assist you. You can also contact your region office. Illinois Education Association regions each have money specifically budgeted for professional development specifially for support staff. Click here to find an Illinois Education Association office near you.

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Can Education Support Professionals Get Unemployment This Summer?

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Can Education Support Professionals Get Unemployment This Summer?

I’ve had a few members contact me to see if education support professionals will be eligible for unemployment insurance this summer. Unfortunately, support staff will not be eligible to collect unemployment benefits this summer. The spring legislative session was extremely abbreviated, though IEA did push and advocate for it to be extended again, it was not picked up for renewal. 

Are you frustrated about this? Then bring your voice and power to the table and join the rESPect Campaign! This is just one of the many issues and benefits the rESPect campaign is fighting for. This campaign is a new initiative lead by educational support professional members with the support of IEA staff to bring RESPECT to ALL of our ESP members. Please go to www.iearespect.org to learn more and join. We are in the organizing and growing stage and encourage you and ALL of your colleagues and neighbors to join the campaign.

We have BIG expectations for change! This will not be easy and most of our goals will take legislative action. That is why we need you, your colleagues, your neighbors, and all public education allies to join our movement! Share this on your social media and sign up to join today!!

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Countdown to Summer

This has been an exhausting school year!!

I hope you find time to rest and recharge this summer. How many days do you have until the end of your school year? How many of you will be working another job this summer? Please comment below.

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We Still Have Several Volunteer Opportunities

~Volunteers for the NEA RA~ 

Registration and Information Booth (Afternoon of July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Information booth volunteers will operate the information booth and distribute materials. A knowledge of Chicago would be a great asset! Registration volunteers will assist delegates through the registration process. Volunteers in these two areas usually work full days.

Ushers and Special Event Support (Afternoon of July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Ushers assist in patrolling the floor checking name badges and assist in managing traffic flow. Ushers are usually on their feet for a lot of the day and are typically scheduled in two different shifts.

Physically Challenged Support Team (8am July 2 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Volunteers for the physically challenged area are usually 15-18 year old students who assist delegates by pushing wheelchairs to different areas of the RA. These positions work no more than 6 hours a day and are a great opportunity for students needing service hours!

Microphone Monitors (Noon on July 2 until the completion of the RA on July 6) The microphone network volunteers serve as communication personnel on the floor of the RA and will need to commit to working the entire event. These volunteers will work full day shifts.

Treasurer Team (Noon on July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Volunteers for the treasurer team assist in the processing of vouchers and other financial paperwork for the RA. These volunteers typically work full days.

NEA Fund for Children and Public Information (PAC) Team (Afternoon of July 1 until completion of the RA- July 6) Volunteers for the PAC team will staff the political action booth at the convention center. These volunteers typically work full days.

COVERED EXPENSES

Transportation: – NEA will not cover transportation costs (Amtrak, Plane, mileage, etc.) for volunteers to travel into town. This applies to volunteers from the Chicago suburbs, Illinois and out of state. – NEA will cover parking (either through validation or volunteer provides receipt for reimbursement), or public transportation costs (Bus, L train) with receipt.

Meals: – All volunteers will be eligible for provided meals.

Stipend: – All volunteers that work a minimum 6 hour shift will be eligible for the $40/day stipend.

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Thank You, Representative Terra Costa Howard

I was extremely proud to attend the End of School Year Celebration with State Rep Terra Costa Howard where she received The Friend of Education award. The ESP Council was proud to nominate her as her voice/leadership helped to win the long fought fight for lowering the hours to 1000 to qualify for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) for education support professionals. Thank you again for all you do for public education!

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National Education Association Representative Assembly Volunteers Needed!!

We still need several volunteers for the 2022 NEA RA in Chicago. We have several positions open for members (or family of members) who might be interested in volunteering. Below you will find the opportunities and the covered expenses. If you know of high school students in the area who might need service hours, this is an excellent opportunity for them.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 
Registration and Information Booth (Afternoon of July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) 
Information booth volunteers will operate the information booth and distribute materials. A knowledge of Chicago would be a great asset! Registration volunteers will assist delegates through the registration process. Volunteers in these two areas usually work full days. 
 
Ushers and Special Event Support (Afternoon of July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) 
Ushers assist in patrolling the floor checking name badges and assist in managing traffic flow. Ushers are usually on their feet for a lot of the day and are typically scheduled in two different shifts. 
 
Physically Challenged Support Team (8am July 2 until the completion of the RA on July 6) 
Volunteers for the physically challenged area are usually 15-18 year old students who assist delegates by pushing wheelchairs to different areas of the RA. These positions work no more than 6 hours a day and are a great opportunity for students needing service hours! 
 
Microphone Monitors (Noon on July 2 until the completion of the RA on July 6) 
The microphone network volunteers serve as communication personnel on the floor of the RA and will need to commit to working the entire event. These volunteers will work full day shifts. 
 
Treasurer Team (Noon on July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) 
Volunteers for the treasurer team assist in the processing of vouchers and other financial paperwork for the RA. These volunteers typically work full days. 
 
NEA Fund for Children and Public Information (PAC) Team (Afternoon of July 1 until completion of the RA on July 6) 
Volunteers for the PAC team will staff the political action booth at the convention center. These volunteers typically work full days. 

COVERED EXPENSES 

Transportation: 
– NEA will not cover transportation costs (Amtrak, Plane, mileage, etc.) for volunteers to travel into town. This applies to volunteers from the Chicago suburbs, Illinois and out of state. 
– NEA will cover parking (either through validation or volunteer provides receipt for reimbursement), or public transportation costs (Bus, L train) with receipt. 
– IEA will cover transportation costs (Amtrak, Plane, mileage, etc.) up to $400 for volunteers who commit to working a minimum 6-hour shift, every day for the entire 5 or 6 days of the RA. This funding is intended to pay for travel costs for volunteers to get to Chicago. The volunteers must submit receipts for any train or plane reimbursement. More details will be coming.

Meals: 
– All volunteers will be eligible for provided meals. 
 
Stipend: 
– All volunteers that work a minimum 6-hour shift will be eligible for the $40/day stipend. 
 
Housing: (DOES NOT APPLY TO STUDENTS 15-18 YEARS OLD) 
- Volunteers that commit to work a minimum 6-hour shift, every day for the entire 5 or 6 days of the RA will be provided housing if needed. Note that some positions will require 5 days and others 6 days to obtain housing. 
– Volunteers will also receive parking (or a reimbursement of reasonable daily parking fees) OR reimbursement of one round trip fare on public transportation. 
– In the instance that the provided housing is not within walking distance of the convention center, we will either provide busing to and from, OR reimburse reasonable expenses (taxi, uber with receipt) to get to and from the convention center. 

If you know of members or others who are interested in volunteering for the RA, they can register using this link.

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Education Support Professionals Often First to See Student Mental Health Struggles

Addressing the mental health of students requires the attention of the entire school community.

Key Take aways

  • ESPs help educate the whole child and also have insights into student wellbeing that must be considered.
  • Addressing the mental health of students requires the attention of the entire school community.
  • With training, ESPs can offer social and emotional support on the bus, in the cafeteria, or in the hallway.

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Did you know? I just learned that May 16th is World ESP Day.

Monday, May 16 is World ESP Day!

Join Education International and ESPs across the globe this Monday at 8:00 am ET for an online event, “Decent Work for ESPs Now,” featuring 2022 NEA ESP of the Year, Debra Mitchell! Debra Ward-Mitchell is one of our very own fabulous education support professionals from Illinois.

There are an exhaustive list of support staff job titles, please know you are valued and appreciated!!!!

I am checking to see if this will be recorded as most education support professionals will be doing what they do best, supporting our students, schools, and universities, at the time of this event.

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rESPect – Why join today?

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For decades education support professionals have been essential in providing a high quality public education to our students. Over this same time, our jobs duties, expectations, and qualification have increased significantly while our wages have not. When you account for inflation, we are making less today than we did 10 or 20 years ago.

The Britannica Dictionary difines respect as:

1: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.

2 : a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way

We are good, valuable, and important and we deserve to be treated as such! It is time that districts and communities see the valuable contributions we provide for the success of our students, districts, and communities. We deserve to earn a livible wage.

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NEA Representative Assembly Volunteer Opportunity

NEA RA Volunteers:

We are ready to begin signing up volunteers to assist with the 2022 NEA RA in Chicago. We have several positions open for members (or family of members) who might be interested in volunteering. Below you will find the opportunities and the expenses NEA will cover. 

If you know of members or others who are interested in volunteering for the RA, they can register using this link.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 
Registration and Information Booth (Afternoon of July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Information booth volunteers will operate the information booth and distribute materials. A knowledge of Chicago would be a great asset! Registration volunteers will assist delegates through the registration process. Volunteers in these two areas usually work full days. 
 
Ushers and Special Event Support (Afternoon of July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Ushers assist in patrolling the floor checking name badges and assist in managing traffic flow. Ushers are usually on their feet for a lot of the day and are typically scheduled in two different shifts. 
 
Physically Challenged Support Team (8am July 2 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Volunteers for the physically challenged area are usually 15-18 year old students who assist delegates by pushing wheelchairs to different areas of the RA. These positions work no more than 6 hours a day and are a great opportunity for students needing service hours! 
 
Microphone Monitors (Noon on July 2 until the completion of the RA on July 6) The microphone network volunteers serve as communication personnel on the floor of the RA and will need to commit to working the entire event. These volunteers will work full day shifts. 
 
Treasurer Team (Noon on July 1 until the completion of the RA on July 6) Volunteers for the treasurer team assist in the processing of vouchers and other financial paperwork for the RA. These volunteers typically work full days. 
 
NEA Fund for Children and Public Information (PAC) Team (Afternoon of July 1 until completion of the RA- July 6) Volunteers for the PAC team will staff the political action booth at the convention center. These volunteers typically work full days. 

COVERED EXPENSES 

Transportation: 
– NEA will not cover transportation costs (Amtrak, Plane, mileage, etc.) for volunteers to travel into town. This applies to volunteers from the Chicago suburbs, Illinois and out of state. 
– NEA will cover parking (either through validation or volunteer provides receipt for reimbursement), or public transportation costs (Bus, L train) with receipt. 
 
Meals: 
– All volunteers will be eligible for provided meals. 
 
Stipend: 
– All volunteers that work a minimum 6-hour shift will be eligible for the $40/day stipend. 
 
Housing: (DOES NOT APPLY TO STUDENTS 15-18 YEARS OLD) 
- Volunteers that commit to work a minimum 6-hour shift, every day for the entire 5 or 6 days of the RA will be provided housing if needed. Note that some positions will require 5 days and others 6 days to obtain housing. 
– Volunteers will also receive parking (or a reimbursement of reasonable daily parking fees) OR reimbursement of one round trip fare on public transportation. 
– In the instance that the provided housing is not within walking distance of the convention center, we will either provide busing to and from, OR reimburse reasonable expenses (taxi, uber with receipt) to get to and from the convention center. 

If you know of members or others who are interested in volunteering for the RA, they can register using this link.

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A Struggle for a Living Wage

According to a 2021 National Education Association survey of its members, education support professionals (ESPs):

• 37% work two or more jobs

• 28% have a permanent position outside of education

• 29% percent have a temporary position outside of education

That’s why we launched the IEA rESPect campaign. Go to iearespect.org to join and to help bring rESPEct to education support professionals.

https://www.nea.org/…/new-from-nea/struggle-living-wage…