Could Jeffco’s Staffing Crisis Have Been Prevented?

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Over the last year and a half, we have been engaged in a LOT of bargaining with the district to demand safety, pay, and respect as the frontline workers in the district.  However, the district said no to hazard pay, no to raises, and only after going to arbitration and continuing to fight, did the district put any money on the table… in summer, after many Jeffco employees decided they had enough and put in for retirement.  This lack of foresight into showing value and respect for the employees who drive buses, clean buildings, prepare food, assist students, teachers, and the community and run our offices is nothing new.

Near the beginning of the pandemic, Chief Operations Officer Steve Bell told JESPA leaders that he was not at all concerned with high turnover and understaffing in ESP (Education Support Professional) jobs. He said that with unemployment rising, people would be flocking to Jeffco to find work. He has also said time and again that if employees don’t like something about their job, he will help them write their resumes. Even in times of crisis understaffing, we aren’t sure the district has changed its approach toward workers. It is time to stand together and demand solutions to Jeffco’s crisis understaffing.

While there are staffing shortages in certain industries across the country, we know that many ESPs have left employment in the district due to feeling disrespected and undervalued. Many have left to find better-paying jobs elsewhere. ESP shortages around the country are also due to lack of pay and respect for ESP workers.

Management’s consistent lack of planning and preparation and poor district culture has created this crisis.

Now we have an opportunity to influence the future of Jeffco by holding Board of Education candidates accountable before they take office! Join us for a critical public action in Jeffco on October 19th at 6pm at Trinty Presbyterian. ESPs will be the central story of the evening! RSVP Here!

To get more involved, check out our campaign page and sign up for opportunities.

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Jeffco Education Support Professionals ensure the safety, health, and success of all students.

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