Paraeducators: You are not temporary.
After collaborating with the Employee Relations team to resolve a grievance regarding the permanent or temporary status of ISP Paraeducators, JESPA Members are proud to confirm to all ISP Paraeducators that are indeed permanent employees.
This result comes after hundreds of ESPs took action by signing petitions to declare that Paraeducators are not temporary. The words “temporary” have been removed from all job descriptions and the practice of terminating these dedicated and hardworking Paraeducators without due process is at an end.
This practice has caused a deeper issue; a SPED department staffing crisis, which means students with needs are going without the proper staff to aid their education. This movement gives us hope that we can turn this crisis around and begin to focus on supporting our students by providing them with the paraeducators they deserve and need.
We are glad to have worked closely with the Employee Relations team to resolve this culture issue within the SPED department.
Paraeducators play a vital role in special education, providing personalized assistance to students with special needs. However in a recent grievance meeting, Jessica Goodkin, Director of Special Education, asserted that all Individual Support Paraeducators are temporary employees. Paraeducator job security is under threat as Jeffco continues to violate the Collective Bargainign Agreement and insists on a practice that devalues their worth and their job security.
This situation exacerbates existing staffing challenges, as paraeducators are already without adequate wages and benefits. Sending paraeducators out the door in the most understaffed department is tantamount to educational malpractice
Misclassifying paraeducators as temporary extends beyond contractual concerns. Over 100 paraeducator and 20 Special Education paraprofessional positions are currently unfilled. This jeopardizes the education and well-being of potentially over 100 students with special needs who rely on individualized support.
Paraeducators are essential to special education and deserve job security. Despite being designated as permanent employees under the CBA, the district claims of paraeducators being “temporary” raises questions about leadership in the SPED department.
Further, the assertion that paraeducators are “temporary” due to the temporary nature of their students is absurd dangerous. Students graduate, funding changes, and educational approaches evolve – all temporary aspects. However, the need for paraeducators is permanent. The district’s claim essentially implies paraeducators are “at-will.”
At-will employment undermines well-being and security. Employees can be fired without cause, causing uncertainty for workers and their families. Unions champion fair treatment and due process, ensuring employees are protected from unjust firings. This approach fosters a productive work environment and empowers employees to voice concerns about conditions, safety, and harassment.
Let’s Unite for Change – sign our petition here!
Challenging the district’s assertion respects paraeducators’ rights and roles while ensuring fair treatment for students with special needs. Upholding our contract provisions guarantees stability for paraeducators. As advocates for equity and quality education, we must unite against this attack on our coworkers and Collective Bargaining Agreement. This issue has broader implications – if paraeducators are suddenly deemed at-will, who’s next?
While we can take legal action when the district breaches our Collective Bargaining Agreement, they may continue their unjust practices. Correcting this violation requires us to stand together, reminding the district of paraeducators’ permanent impact. Paraeducators are the backbone of special education, providing personalized support to students and teachers alike.
Join us in voicing concerns and ensuring paraeducators receive the respect, security, and recognition they deserve. Take action by signing our petition, urging the district to follow our CBA and prioritize students.