NEA ESP Conference…who’s going?

The countdown has begun. In just a few days ESP’s from around the country will be meeting in Seattle, Washington for the 2023 NEA ESP Conference. Are you attending? If so, what are you most looking forward to?


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

March 24-26, 2023
Seattle, WA

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.  


Summer Leadership Registration Now Open!

Join us this summer for training on leadership skills that make a difference for our students, our locals, our schools and our communities.

Summer Leadership will be held July 24-27, 2023 at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Professional development sessions will be held on Tuesday afternoon, July 25 and Wednesday morning, July 26.  Summer Leadership Retreats will be offered Wednesday afternoon, July 26 from 1:30 to 4:30 and Thursday morning, July 27 from 8:30 to 12:00.  The Organizing School will be held on Tuesday, July 25 & 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday, July 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Early Bird Registration will close, April 30, 2023!


View Agenda 

Request funding to attend here:

Scholarship Form


2023 Illinois Representative Assembly

Wow!! What a fabulous first day of the Illinois Representative Assembly. We heard from fabulous speakers, listened and debated several New Business Items that will direct and lead our union. We celebrated our new IEA award winners. I presented to a standing room only group of amazing ESP in our Education Support Professional Open Hearing. Then, I had the opportunity to present for an impromptu group when their presenter was unable to present. I had a great time and felt like we had a really beneficial discussion! Last but not least I gave an update on rESPect to 1100 of my closest union friends. đŸ™‚ Wooo…long day!

Day two is off to a great start!! A lot more business will be accomplished.

Great things are happening here in Illinois.


HB 2784 Passed Through Committee!!

Today Debra Ward Mitchell, 2022 NEA ESP of the Year and IEA Vice-Chair on the Education Support Professional Council spoke in front of the Illinois Labor and Commerce Committee on behalf of HB2784. With a vote of 17 in favor and 8 opposed the committee moved our bill out of committee. We still have a ways to go…but we are one fabulous step closer to getting this bill passed.

Thank you, to everyone who supported HB2784! In two and a half days we rallied and our members came through with 678 witness slips in support of raising the ESP minimum wage.


Help Move HB 2784 – ASAP!!

This Wednesday legislators are bringing our bill, HB2784, on raising the ESP minimum wage up for a vote. Create a witness slip to show support and help push this forward.

Last night the rESPect Legislative Team had a very informative meeting regarding creating witness slips to support legislation. The IEA Lobbyists Unique Mickens and ShiAnne Shively walked us through step-by-step directions for creating a “Witness Slip” on the Illinois General Assembly website. The attached video and PowerPoint show’s how you can help us support House Bill 2784. Please share this with your members. This is IEA’s Legislation that would set a minimum ESP hourly rate at $20 for the 2023-24 school year, $21 for the 2024-25 school year and $22 for the 2025-26 school year.

Click here – Click Create Witness Slip, Scroll to HB 2784, click the pencil on the right. Review attachments for additional supports to complete.

Need your help and support now

HB2784 will be in committee on Wednesday, March 8th. In order to show a LOT of interest in this bill we need YOUR help TODAY or by the end of session TOMORROW. It was mentioned in the meeting that this is normal to collect witness slips a couple days before the proposal.

You can copy the recording information below and share with others

Passcode: 1.mCtH8Q

Education Support Professionals

Attention: ESP IEA RA Delegates

We are looking forward to seeing you at this year’s IEA Representative Assembly. There is a lot of important information we need to share with you!

Please be sure to attend the ESP open hearing Thursday morning from 10:00-11:00 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Rosemont (International Room C). Also, don’t forget to stop by our ESP Council and rESPect Campaign exhibit tables to say hello, pick up important informational materials to share with your members, shop for ESP promotional items, meet other ESP delegates, and get a chance to win fabulous prizes and giveaways. You really don’t want to miss it!

Did I mention prizes? Stop by the ESP Council table often to see if you are a winner and collect your prize. New prize winners will be posted throughout the RA.



Congratulations to three new Education Support Professional locals!

  • Red Bud Education Support Professionals (Region 4)
  • Minooka Education Association (Region 51)
  • Brussels Support Staff Association (Region 6)

Congratulations to a growing local!

  • SPEED Education Support Association (Region 55), is now more than 120 members strong!