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ESP Bill of Rights a key part of 2020 legislative agenda

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Everyone who works in public education deserves the same things. Respect for their contribution to the care and education of our students. Fair compensation for their work, including affordable health care. Safe working conditions. Unfortunately, most education support professionals don’t get enough of any of those.

Education Minnesota has drafted an ESP Bill of Rights to build up and support education support professionals throughout Minnesota. With 2020 being a policy-focused legislative session, the union hopes to push key parts of this package of proposals to have hearings and receive attention.

The Bill of Rights includes proposals that would help ESPs in Minnesota receive pay and benefits to sustain a family, safe work environments and voice and respect on the job.

Pay and benefits to sustain families

Every school employee should have the right to spend time at home with their own children, without surviving paycheck-to-paycheck and working two or three extra jobs.

  • Require school districts and charter schools to pay their ESPs a living wage.
  • Help educators and their families get quality, affordable health care by allowing any Minnesotan to buy into MinnesotaCare and supporting an innovative, cost-sharing initiative called the Educator Health Care Initiative.
  • Provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers through a payroll deduction and employer tax. No one should have to make the choice between losing a paycheck or caring for a new child, themselves, or an aging loved one.

Safe work environments

Many of our ESPs are working with students with disruptive and sometimes violent behavior. Just like every student deserves a safe learning environment, every educator deserves a safe working environment.

  • Fund 16 hours of mandatory training for paraprofessionals who directly work with students before students report every fall.

Voice and respect on the job

ESPs work closely with our students inside and outside the classroom. They should have a seat at the table when decisions are made about their schools and profession.

  • Establish reporting and transparency requirements to identify issues of concern for ESPs on the worksite. This could include staffing levels, pay scale, safety, fair scheduling, etc.
  • Ensure ESPs have a voice in their local school district’s policies and decisions by requiring representation on district committees. (Demand at the bargaining table)

Help us push for ESP issues at the Capitol

Sign our petition to urge the Minnesota Legislature to pass the ESP Bill of Rights benefiting education support professionals in Minnesota.

All ESP members are encouraged to come to the Capitol and share their story at a lobby day. If you are an ESP member interested in testifying on these issues, email lobbyteam@edmn.org.

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