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Are you thinking about retirement? Whatch this pre-retirement workshop to prepare.

Webinar Now Available on the IMRF Website to Watch Whenever it’s Convenient for You!

IMRF’s Pre-Retirement Workshop webinar is for IMRF members who are within five years of retirement. It will address the steps you must take before and during the IMRF retirement application process.The Pre-Retirement Workshop webinar is now offered online, on-demand on the IMRF website. You can view this recently recorded webinar at any time, when it is convenient for you. To watch thePre-Retirement Workshop webinar, click here.
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Nominate a worthy Education Support Professional

ESP of The Year Award (Nominated by Local President or Region Chair)

This award is meant to emphasize the contributions of education support professionals to their association, their schools and their communities.
Deadline: Dec. 15, 2022.

Apply Online

ESP STARS Award (Nominated by any member)

The ESP Council created the ESP STAR program to allow IEA local leaders, members and board of directors to recognize and publicize the good work of their ESP members across the state. Use the online nomination form to nominate a special ESP. Nominations can be submitted monthly

Apply Online

Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award

An individual IEA-NEA member or an IEA-NEA group may be nominated for this award, which recognizes those who have performed an outstanding humanitarian/civil rights activity or community service above and beyond normal association endeavors.
Deadline: Dec. 15, 2022.

Apply Online

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Are You Ready For RESPECT?

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

  • Improve Wages
  • Affordable Health Care
  • Equitable Pensions
  • Retention, Recruitment, & Job Duties

RESPECT | Raising Education Support Professionals by Elevating Careers Together
is a statewide effort by support staff in Illinois schools, Pre-K through college, with the
support of IEA staff, to improve working conditions. This is a long-term campaign made
up of short-term goals. In 2022-23, we hope to:

  • Pass legislation to improve wages and retirement security; including a $20/hour minimum wage.
  • Create a library of model contract language for support staff locals.
  • Organize, organize, organize!
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NEA – Come network with ESPs and make community connections

Network with ESPs – and make community connections – November 15, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. cst.  Join us for the first-ever ESP Community Conversation, a one-hour virtual networking session that will connect you with fellow ESP members to discuss the challenges and successes you have experienced while bargaining and advocating for your students and for your professions.  Registration will close on 11/11 or when the attendee count reaches 70 people.

Register Now ><https://secure.ngpvan.com/dxsbVq7efkStt4Qic6Z56w2?utm_source=edpractice&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20221026edpractice&ms=edpractice>

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November: ESP Webinar Opportunities


Happy November! This month, our team at NEA is offering several exciting opportunities for ESPs to connect with one another, engage in professional learning, and share stories! Sign up for these opportunities below and spread the word to your colleagues and members. 
 

  • Join us for our November ESP Learning Network Webinar  
    Wednesday, November 9, 2022, 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET 
    In this session, we will discuss the importance of pronouncing a student’s name properly and the profound impact that it can have on them throughout their life. Join this webinar and learn techniques to master how to say names properly so we can show our marginalized students that we see them, value them, and respect their cultures and identities. 
     
    Register Now > 
     
  • Apply for the pilot of our paraeducator-teacher teams program 
    Deadline: November 11 
    We are accepting applications for the pilot program of Building Winning Teams, a professional learning opportunity focused on creating effective paraeducator-teacher teams. The pilot will take place between January 2, 2023 and April 28, 2023. Each local affiliate that applies must have two Paraeducator-Teacher teams to participate in the training. The deadline to submit applications is November 11, 2022. 
     
    Apply for the Pilot > 
     
     
  • Network with ESPs and make community connections 
    November 15, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET 
    Join us for our first-ever ESP Community Conversation, a one-hour virtual networking session that will connect you with fellow ESP members to discuss the challenges and successes you have experienced while bargaining and advocating for your students and for your professions. Registration will close on 11/11 or when the attendee count reaches 70 people.  
     
    Register Now > 
     
     
  • Celebrate Education Support Professionals Day  
    November 16, all day 
    On the Wednesday of American Education Week, we honor the team of people who work in our nation’s public school communities, everyone from the bus driver to the cafeteria worker and paraeducator, plus countless others. On ESP Day, share a story of how an ESP has made an impact on your life by posting to social media using #WeLoveOurESPs. 
     
    Celebrate with us > 
     

We look forward to your participation in these upcoming opportunities!

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Extremely Productive IEA Board of Directors Meeting

This past Friday evening and Saturday I had the privilege to travel to Springfield, Illinois to attend the October Illinois Education Association Board of Director’s meeting. A lot of great work was done. It’s always important to hear what our members are experiencing around the state and advocate for the support they need. We also had a very special guest stop by.

Don’t forget to vote! November 8th is election day. Make a plan…and plan to vote. Here is a link to IEA’s Voter Guide for pro-public education candidates.

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Well-Being Survey

The Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the University of Illinois Springfield invites you to participate in the Illinois Educator Well-Being Survey. The purpose of this survey is to examine how the climate and culture of your workplace impacts the quality of your life.

When considering how to improve the climate and culture of a school district, it is important to consider the impact of school climate and culture on educators who work both in and out of the classroom. This includes teachers, education support professionals, and other professional staff such as counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses.

IEA will use the results of this survey to support educator’s well-being in the workplace through improved programs and services.

This survey is voluntary and will take approximately ten minutes to complete. Data collected as part of this survey will remain confidential, see the informed consent document for additional information. Please use the below link to access the survey:

Take the Illinois Educator Well-Being Survey

The survey will close on December 1, 2022.

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Education Support Professionals Have Unique Opportunities to Build Positive Relationships and Support Student Success

Don’t Miss This NEA Virtual Webinar Opportunity

Equitable Discipline and the Role of an ESP 
Thursday, October 20, 2022, 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET (EASTERN)
 
This webinar is rooted in relational equity and culturally responsive social-emotional learning. Join us to learn about the important connection between authentic relationships with students, families, and staff members and their impact on student success, resiliency, and hope. You will also explore how personal bias impacts disciplinary decisions and actions. Register Now 

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RESPECT – Raising Education Support Professionals by Elevating Careers Together

At tonight’s RESPECT Campaign meeting in between reports of the progress we are making to reach our goals to advocate for members we heard from several amazing education support professionals who shared their story. They told of struggles that are far too common among education support staff. The worry they face every month when they struggle to pay bills and afford food because their paychecks just don’t represent the value they bring to their students, schools, and districts. They spoke of their concerns of high health insurance costs and being effective in their buildings because they are being stretched too thin due to staffing shortages.

It is time for RESPECT! Go to www.iearespect.org and join today! We have got to build this campaign into a movement! We have got to bring the change we need and our members deserve. Invite your colleagues, friends, and neighbors.

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2023 NEA ESP Conference

The purpose of the NEA ESP National conference to grow and strengthen the professional excellence of ESP members working in Pre-K to Higher-Ed through Association-convened, educator-led, and student-centered learning experiences. With multiple interactive workshops to choose from over the course of three days, participants enhance their knowledge and skills to advocate for students and educators, champion racial and social justice, build community relationships, strengthen and grow membership, and sustain stronger local associations, helping members excel in their careers and positively impact student success.  

2023 ESP NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Theme: Joy, Justice, Excellence: The Strength of Educators. The Brilliance of Students. The Power of Community.

March 24-26, 2023
Seattle, WA

Interested in presenting a session at the ESP Conference?
Our call for presenters period is now open! The deadline to submit a session proposal to be considered for the conference is Friday, October 28, 2022. 

ACCESS THE CALL FOR PRESENTERS FORM

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This Leadership Training is Truly Transformational

EMELT – Nov. 4-6, 2022

Reach out to your local and IEA Region office for funding to attend. Each region has funding for members to attend IEA Conferences.

Crowne Plaza Springfield – Springfield, IL

Registration for the IEA Ethnic Minority Emerging Leadership Training is now open! This series of workshops is geared to helping ethnic minority and emerging leaders in our state understand IEA structure, the resources at your disposal, the skills you need to increase association involvement, and assist you in developing a personal plan of action for long-term development and participation in the association. You will also refine your organizational skills, develop your problem-solving abilities, broaden your knowledge of education issues, and develop strategies that benefit your local organizations, schools, and communities. For more information regarding the conference, visit the website – EMELT Conference

Registration ends October 28, 2022 at 5:00 pm!   Housing block closes on October 18. IEA EMELT HOTEL RESERVATIONS

Register today – EMELT Registration

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Tomorrow!! Woohoo!! I’m looking forward to seeing you all there!

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.

REGISTRATION

Hotel | Session Times | Session Descriptions | Agenda

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Raising Educational Support Processionals by Elevating Careers Together

It is our mission to bring change to members by focusing on three goals this year: 

  • Passing legislation for increased wages (Time for $20/hr)
  • Developing model bargaining language and create a library to support members during  bargaining
  • Organizing (grow a powerful campaign)

Click the link to learn more about how we are also advocating for affordable health insurance, equitable pensions, and more! Join us, we have BIG plans to bring you RESPECT and we need you to make it happen!

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ESPacios de Libertad (Freedom Spaces): Live Spanish Webinar Experience

This month, the NEA ESP Learning network is excited to offer learning webinars for education support professionals, including a webinar on Thursday, September 15, that will be presented in Spanish.

ESPacios de Libertad (Freedom Spaces): Live Spanish Webinar Experience

Thursday, September 15, 2022, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

En conmemoración del Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, reunimos a un grupo diverso de educadores para discutir las formas en que sus valores y normas han promovido la equidad, la justicia y la alegría en sus escuelas y universidades. No te lo pierdas. Pa’lante.

English Translation: In commemoration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we bring together a diverse group of educational support professionals to discuss the ways their values and norms have advanced equity, justice, and joy in their schools and colleges. Don’t miss it. Pa’lante.

Register at: https://www.mobilize.us/nea_espq/event/497776/

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US Department of Labor Inducted Education Support Professionals as Essential Employees

In case you missed it: US Department of Labor inducted ESPs as essential employees of the pandemic into the Labor Hall of honor!

2020 NEA ESP of the Year, Andrea Beeman spoke at the induction ceremony. Learn more and watch the speech 👇

In recognition of their sacrifices and efforts to protect the health of all Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor (DOL) inducted Essential Workers of the Pandemic into the U.S. Labor Hall of Honor today. Those inducted include educators like Andrea Beeman, a special education paraeducator from Maple Heights, Ohio.

The U.S. DOL Hall of Honor recognizes the life-changing contributions that a unique group of people have made on the American way of work over the nation’s history, including the workers of 9/11, farm workers, Chinese rail workers, and sanitation workers.

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Join us TOMORROW to learn how we are fighting for increased wages 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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Do know your rights?

As the new school year begins it is important to make sure you know your rights as a union member. If you feel you could be disciplined for any reason, please respectfully request union representation. It is your right to have a union representative with you. You can NOT be denied. 

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It’s not to late to register! Don’t miss this awesome conference opportunity!

One Conference: 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.

Where: The DoubleTree by Hilton, 1909 Spring Rd., Oak Brook, IL 60523

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

Housing: $119 per night + tax.  Housing closes on Sept. 21 at noon. (Funding is available through IEA region offices)

Registration Deadline: Sept. 26 at noon

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Open Seats on the IEA Education Support Professional Council

ESP – Southern/Central Section Alternate (Regions 1-14, 45, 47, 48 and 62) – as interim until election is held next spring for remainder of term to 2024. ESP – Northern/Central Section Alternate (Regions 15-25, 37, 38, 40, 44, 49, 51, 53, 54, 60, 61, 63, 65 and 66) – as interim until election is held next spring for remainder of term to 2025.

If you are a member who works in one of the above listed regions please consider running to fill this important open position.

Active IEA members wishing to be nominated must provide a written statement of interest by Tuesday, September 13, 2022. Please email statements to Denise Ward or mail to IEA President’s Office, 100 E. Edwards St., Springfield, IL  62704.

These positions are to be filled in accordance with applicable existing procedures for filling a vacancy.  IEA-NEA Bylaws state:

  • “A vacancy in the office of Alternate Sectional Representative shall be filled within sixty (60) days by a majority vote of the Chairpersons of the affected Regions and serve until the next regular spring election is conducted to fill the unexpired term.” – Article XII, Section 3 (C)
  • “Persons temporarily filling a vacancy until an election is held at the time and in the manner of the original election are ex-officio delegates to the R.A. and may not vote for officers, budget or dues.” – Article VII, Section 1 (B)
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One Conference: Register Today

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.

Funding: Contact your union local or IEA region chair to request funding to attend.

Where: The DoubleTree by Hilton, 1909 Spring Rd., Oak Brook, IL 60523

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

Housing: $119 per night + tax.  Housing closes on Sept. 21 at noon.

Registration Deadline: Sept. 26 at noon

Participants can find more information and the registration link at IEA One Conference.

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How Setting Boundaries Helps Strengthen Your Voice

I saw this post on FB recently and thought it important to share! As we all start this new school year it won’t take long for that overwhelming feeling to creep in. Please remember for your own health and sanity, do what you can. It is important to set boundaries. I believe it is in education support professionals DNA to go above and beyond “for the children”, but… you need to remember that you are just as important. When we work beyond our own hours or take work home we actually hurt our own bargaining power. Why should they pay you for doing something that is getting done without pay?

I know I am going to try my best to set boundaries so I am not so stressed and I can enjoy my family and friends outside of the work day.

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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!!