As education support professionals often times we can be made to feel…well, less. Less important and less valued. I once had a superintendant say we (ESP) are a dime a dozen. Thankfully not my current superintendant, with whom I have a nice relationship. That earlier comment wasn’t to far off. We definitely are underpaid for the essential work we do for our students, schools, and communities and it doesn’t feel like we are paid much more than that.
Why should you be an ESP IEA member? Because your IEA President, Kathi Griffin and executive board values who we are and what we do!
I have had the pleasure of being the IEA ESP Council Chair for a little over a year. I have NEVER been made to feel less. On the contrary, I am encouraged and my voice and opinion is sought and truly valued.
Recent legislative accomplishments that support ESPs. This is not a complete list:
- Passage of HB 12-reduces the hours to qualify from 1250 to 1000 so more ESPs have access to this important benefit (years of lobbying and advocating to pass)
- Passage of HR 77-Resolution seeking to find solutions to salary parity, quality professional development and access to health benefits for ESP members
- Passage of HB3474-Protecting our seats on our IMRF retirement board. Ensures that those who are eligible to run as an executive trustee candidate (Employer) on the IMRF Board of Trustees can only run for the executive trustee position.
We have only just begun! Great things…Huge things are coming!!