As you may be aware the District has an ESP Roundtable which meet quarterly to discuss issues that pertain to the support staff. The district has kept the minutes of these meeting and posted them on the district website; as far back as October of 2008. These meetings are the District’s way of allowing us time to meet and submit concerns and questions. It’s become abundantly clear that the administration has no intention of addressing those concerns and have repeatedly paid lip service to our requests.
For more than 5 years the Round Table minutes reflect that we have been asking the district for clarification of job titles, duties, pay increases retirement benefits, comp time, and getting a cohesive and updated Employee Handbook. Yes, the handbook was “revised” but why did it take 5 years of us having to ask?
As far back as 2008 we have been voicing our concerns over pay rates, job titles, duties and more to a district that has turned its’ back on us. If you read the ESP Round Table Minutes, you can see that each time we voiced a concern or asked for a concession, the administration told us that our concerns would the at the top of their list after they deal with everything else first. Former Director of Human Resources, Troy Courtney blithely points out that he is more concerned with getting staff lined up for the fall but that getting the Handbook updated is a priority (since October of 2008.) Again this handbook was 5 years in the making. You’d think this handbook was being re-written in Mandarin Chinese when in fact it is near duplicate of the original, outdated book. And job descriptions, don’t get me started; we’re still waiting on those. But just so you know where we stand, read the following.
From the ESP minutes dated March 12, 2009: “Mr. Courtney stated that only about ¼ of the current job descriptions are in electronic form and many are outdated.” And two years later from ESP Round Table meeting dated October 6, 2011, “Mr. Courtney discussed the difficulty with getting the job descriptions updated over the summer months..” And one year later, in 2012,
“Mr. Courtney stated that updating job descriptions continues to be a work in progress. The spring has been a busy time for all and the remaining job description categories left to work on include technical support, buildings and grounds, and student supervisors. With summer construction keeping our employees busy, the completion of these categories will be held off until the fall.”
So here we are at the close of 2013 and our staff is the best ever. We are highly skilled, dedicated and deserve the respect and dignity that a living wage would afford. Joining the teacher’s union is the only way that we can guarantee that we are treated fairly and are paid on par with local area school districts. We work for one of the top school districts in the state, the talented teaching staff are paid above average for the area., so then why do we think it’s okay for us to be paid some of the lowest hourly rates around?
While we continue to work for the district at below average rates and neglect to join our colleagues in allowing the IEA/NEA to try to get us a better wage and better working conditions, we are in essence, telling the administration that we don’t deserve better.