Maryland ESPs Ramp Up Visibility to Save Jobs
Workers making a difference are hard to ignore
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Listen to Sharon Fischer, President of the Carroll (Md.) Association of School Employees.
Hear for yourself why ESPs are essential to the education process.
It is one thing to keep the nose to the grindstone and get the work done. That is until management starts looking around to cut some positions thinking nobody will notice those folks being let go because no one knows what they do. Nothing personal, mind you, just business.
That’s why leaders and members of Maryland’s Carroll Association of School Employees are stepping up their public persona. The local president, paraeducator Sharon Fischer, said bargaining is coming up this year and that staff cuts are being considered by Carroll County School District officials. “We are going to highlight our work,” says Fischer. “The public needs to know what we do for the students of this district, and what won’t get done if our positions are eliminated.” The Education Support Professional local represents 266 Licensed Practicing Nurses, secretaries and clerks and paraeducators.
- Among the public education efforts by the local are:
Radio announcements Fischer cut for play on Westminster Maryland station WPTR-AM during American Education Week and Baltimore’s Raven football games;
- “We make a difference” wrist bands for employees and the school board;
- A presentation at the school board showing what a day without ESP would mean;
- Having community leaders spend a day with staff employees to understand their work.
“We’re ramping up our visibility,” says Fischer. “We hear from the community that they are hearing our message. We’ll continue this interaction. We want folks to know that we are good employees. We also want people to know that we too contribute to our community by paying taxes and shopping in the area we live.” She is also not shy about encouraging the other support staff members of the school district to speak out too. “All of our work impacts student education, learning and working conditions. It takes a lot of skilled hands to do a proper job.”