Education support professionals (ESPs) are organizing to build presence, strength, and power in a campaign focused on a bill of rights that defines the issues long nagging these dedicated employees and now threatening not only the recruitment of new employees but the retention of dedicated veteran employees.
Too many ESPs work second jobs and struggle to provide for their families, buy homes, save for their futures, and afford community or four-year college tuition for their children to learn a trade and plan a career. The looming threats of privatization by school districts, which would import even lower-paid workers from outside areas, risk the stability of schools and communities and further undermine the value of ESPs and their jobs.
With continuing staff shortages, escalating student behavioral challenges, increasing responsibilities, a continuing lack of respect, and the rising costs of healthcare benefits, ESPs are being asked to do more—too often without the resources they need and the compensation they deserve.
We want to build our strength at the bargaining table and that starts with building power and purpose in every county.— STACY TAYMAN, CO-CHAIR, ESP ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Some school board members and community and state officials have refused time and again to recognize support staff and their contributions or to provide adequate, living wages. While the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future provides funding to add staff in some ESP positions, there is more to do.
That’s why ESPs and educators around the state are organizing around an ESP Bill of Rights. Learn more about how and why ESPs wrote the Bill of Rights here.
This ESP living wage calculator is based on information from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator. To find out what a living wage means based on where you work, use this calculator.
Step 1: Endorse the Bill of Rights
Step 2: Attend a monthly activist training to learn how to host a building meeting
Step 3: Host a meeting at your worksite
Worksites and locals across the state are endorsing the ESP Bill of Rights and our shared fight for a living wage, fairness, and respect. Don’t see your worksite there yet? Use the tools and resources on this page to endorse the Bill of Rights!