Jeffco cancels bargaining with JESPA, moves toward mediation

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Today at 5pm, the district declared an impasse and canceled next week’s bargaining sessions. Impasse means that at least one bargaining team believes no further progress can be made by continued bargaining. In this case, the district believes they are unable to make progress by continuing to bargain financials with JESPA.

JESPA’s bargaining team has met tonight to discuss the district’s declaration of impasse. At impasse, the teams now will select a mediator to work with us.  Our team is looking forward to working with the mediator and needs your continued support.

Here’s what we know right now:

Recently, Governor Polis released budget proposal, which included an increase in education funding and a reduction of the BS factor.   Further, Colorado voters just passed a repeal of the Gallagher Amendment and passed Prop EE – both improve education funding.

We also know that the district reported savings for the 2020 school year due to “budget underspend” ending 2020 with $124 million in unassigned fund balance (reserves). The Jeffco first quarter financial report shows that we are under budget in several categories due to vacancies in positions, but we are trending over budget in general and school administration due to increased salaries for administrators. We will provide further financial analysis soon.

In short, the district has money and should invest in ESPs who work hard to support our students. The district will see increases in revenue under the governor’s proposed budget. JESPA members have demanded that we continue bargaining for what is right for ESPs and to decline one-time bonuses.  We are doing just that!

The last JESPA proposal for a 2% bonus, 2% COLA, and a half step (amounting to about $4.5 million) is a reasonable proposal to begin to change the landscape for ESPs in Jeffco.

Make no mistake, your JESPA bargaining team recognizes the district’s tactics for what they are – the district team is impotent to make necessary change. The JESPA bargaining team has no intention of ending this fight for fair pay, and if you care about this fight it’s time to step up. Your membership in JESPA matters now more than ever. Please take action by joining JESPA and adding your name to the FAIR PAY NOW petition.

In Solidarity,

Lara Center, Library Paraprofessional & JESPA President

And the JESPA Bargaining Team

Doreen Edstrom, Principal’s Secretary

Karen Ocanas, Transportation Assistant

Monte Hollander, Bus Driver

Tim Allport, Campus Supervisor

Judy Grounds, Facility Manager

Les Robinson, Food Service Warehouse

Joe Devlin, Bus Driver

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