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Raising our voices for ESP wages

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The current low wages for school support staff hurt – they hurt us, they hurt our students, and they hurt our communities. On Thursday, January 11, Education Support Professionals from four unions all across the state came together with dozens of legislators and State Superintendent Chris Reykdal to share our stories and call for action.

“After 37 years as an ESP, I’m having to get a second job again,” shared Spokane EA member Debby Chandler. “I had a new hire working with me and after the first paycheck she left. She said they’re paying more at Target, plus they provide benefits and a discount.”

35 lawmakers spoke with the ESPs in attendance, hearing more about how often we need to take second or third jobs, move farther away from where we work, or see our colleagues leaving for higher-paying jobs in retail or restaurants.

“I work a second job, so I work seven days a week,” said Steilacoom Classified EA member Cassie Legg-Schuyler. “It’s the only way it can work with our pay. So many of my coworkers either have second jobs or husbands with higher-paying jobs.”

Legislators listened intently and learned more about what’s happening in our schools and about the bills this session that would improve ESP pay. Members also took the opportunity to connect with one another and build strength and solidarity among AFT Washington, SEIU 925, Public School Employees of Washington, Teamsters 763, and WEA members.

Have you contacted your legislators about ESP pay yet? Send an email now!

Posted in: Professional pay | ESP
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