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.


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.

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. 


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


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.



Education Support Professionals Make a Difference Every Day in the Lives of Our Students!!

How a school bus driver in Skokie has brought joy to his community for decades

Alvin Carter, a school bus driver and custodian in Skokie, Ill., has become a reliable source of joy for the children he drives and his community. Helen Wei

When 5-year-old twins Fionnuala and Ceilidh Climer get on the bus to school each day, they are greeted by a familiar voice.

“Hello number one princess, hello number two princess!” driver Alvin Carter calls out.

Carter, referred to fondly as Mr. Alvin by the twins, is a driver and custodian at the girls’ school in Skokie, Ill. Other times he greets them with, “Good morning, sunshine!” or a joke.


Thank You Carterville Area Members and IEA Office!

Thank you Carterville area members and IEA Office for hosting our IEA Education Support Professional Council meeting this past Saturday. We truly enjoyed traveling and spending time in your area. Thank you to the guests who joined our meeting both in person and virtually. We are honored to represent ALL education support professionals from all across Illinois.