Support a Living Wage for Haverhill ESPs!

Haverhill School Committee

Haverhill Education Support Professionals (ESPs) are currently in contract negotiations and are fighting for fair wages, job security, and professional development! We currently make between around $19,000 and $25,000 a year. This is not enough to live on given the rising costs of healthcare, transportation, and housing in the region. We are calling for better working conditions, and a starting salary of at least $25,000. Educators and parents are partners, and together we are entrusted to shape our children into competent, compassionate, and educated adults. We rely on each other as well as extended family members and community members to achieve these goals for our children.

ESPs in Haverhill need every community member and family to help us win a contract that includes a livable wage and professional growth. We are asking parents and community members to sign this Pledge of Support to let School Committee know that families do not want educators making poverty wages in our schools! Let your School Committee Members know how much you value the work of Paraprofessionals, Aids, and all ESPs in the district. We are asking that you please sign our Pledge of Support!

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To: Haverhill School Committee
From: [Your Name]

Dear Haverhill School Committee,

First, for those of you on School Committee last year, we the undersigned, wanted to thank you for your support of the Student Opportunity Act, advocating for Haverhill to receive millions more in state funding for public education. We have a lot of work to do in Haverhill and one of the most important places we can invest these new funds, is in people serving our students and the community. Particularly our paraprofessionals and other Education Support Professionals (ESPs).

I recently became aware that Education Support Professionals (ESPs) in Haverhill are in the process of negotiating a new contract. As a Haverhill community member, I fully support ESPs across our city in receiving a livable wage, better job security, and more opportunities for professional development and growth.

As you know, ESPs are working with students who require extra care and specialized instruction, whether it is students just entering school in pre-k and kindergarten to students at any grade level needing support to meet the goals of their Individual Education Plans. ESPs play an important role in keeping our students safe, providing large and small group instruction, and helping students regain self-control and creating environments where all students can learn. ESPs keep our schools running smoothly. With the shortage of substitute teachers ESPs are often required to cover teachers who are absent or who need to attend vital meetings.

We applaud the School Committee’s current approach, in looking at issues in our schools with a focus on equity. I can only hope that this issue will also be looked at with the same intensity and view point. An ESP's current salaries of $19000 to $25,000 is not enough to live on. I was shocked to find out exactly what these hard-working professionals are paid. As a community supporter I ask that every effort be made to create a contract that reflects the value ESPs provide with respectful wages of at least $25,000 a year, more stability at work, and more professional opportunities for growth.

As a leader for Haverhill, I ask that you do all you can to support the ESPs in securing a living wage, better professional development, and job security!

Thank you,