Last Thursday, Jeffco proposed a temporary step increase for step eligible employees that would end in August of 2021. We immediately heard from hundreds of members who felt the district’s offer was insulting since many people aren’t eligible for a step and the increase would be temporary.
We know that ESPs are vitally important to the health and well-being of students. Without adequate wages and staffing levels, essential workers like you are often forced into a terrible position, like deciding which bills to pay for the month or using the food bank to feed their families.
The JESPA team continues fighting for a better compensation package from the district but they need your support. Call the Jeffco Board of Education at 303-982-6800 and demand that they honor the sacrifice and work of ESPs by making a proposal for a living wage now!
Read on for a summary of the questions and the counter-proposal your JESPA bargaining team gave to the district last night.
- The district admits that it hasn’t made any of the recommended budget cuts that would make room for raises. Why not?
- Custodial has been told they can’t run the air in their buildings over the summer months because the district wants to save many millions of dollars, but at the bargaining table they denied that there were any significant savings from this practice. Which one is it?
- Multiple buildings are currently closed due to COVID outbreaks, including West Terminal. Jeffco has said that safety measures are in place and refuses to bargain over hazard pay. Why?
- The district has told us that Food Service is spending over budget, yet many kitchens remain understaffed while the central administration grows. Why is that?
- Central Administration jobs have increased 52.5% since 2016 and the total cost for salaries has increased 61% from 26 million to 41.5 million dollar. Management salaries have increased 12% over 3 years while other departments are consistently cut. Why is that?
Our Counter Proposal:
Use the recommended budget cuts and shared furlough days over the summer or around holidays to pay for
- A regular step increase for all eligible employees
- Tiered COLA for all employees in order to move toward a livable wage
- Protect ESP/classified staff from Reductions in Force (RIFs) this year
- Restore all staff people who have already been reduced this year
- Hazard pay for workers on the front line of COVID-19
As you can see the JESPA team continues to elevate the needs of ESPs in Jeffco. But they can’t do it alone. If we want something different, we’ve got to do something different. You can help by calling the Jeffco Board of Education and demanding that they respect us by proposing a living wage for ESPs. Call them today and leave a message at 303-982-6800. Your voice matters in this fight.
Library Paraprofessional & JESPA President
PS – please email us back when you’ve made your call and if you received a response from the district!