IEA calls for ‘Living Wage’ for all education employees

Springfield, IL – “Education employees who traditionally have been on the lower end of the pay scale deserve a fair and living wage,” asserted Cinda Klickna, president of the Illinois Education Association, in a press release today.

Klickna’s remarks were made in conjunction with the Nov. 14 recognition of National Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day.  ESP day each year falls on Wednesday of American Education Week (AEW), which this year is Nov. 12-16.

National ESP Day celebrates the work and educational contributions that school support professionals make to students and the educational environment.

“There are far too many education employees who are not able to make ends meet simply because of the very low wages they’re paid,” said Klickna.  “Many are working two or even three jobs, or having to live with relatives or friends just to scrape by.  And it’s not just hourly workers like bus drivers, custodians, secretaries and paraprofessionals.  New teachers and university graduate assistants often make significantly less than it takes to support themselves and their families.”

Klickna said the quality of education school districts and higher education institutions are able to provide to students is directly connected to the employees.  Guaranteeing a fair and living wage for all education employees would go a long way toward making school district and higher education employment attractive to career employees, she said.