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NEA ESP Bill of Rights

We're advocating for the rights and respect of school support staff all across the country.
ESp Day Getty Images

Education Support Professionals (ESPs) are critical to the success of our nation’s public schools. They are the bus drivers who get our students to school safely, the custodians who keep our school buildings and grounds clean, the cafeteria workers who ensure our communities are fed, the paraeducators who meet the needs of our most vulnerable students, and so much more. They are essential members of the educational team who work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs.

Despite their important roles, many ESPs have to take on more than one job to make ends meet. More than one-third of ESPs earn less than $25,000 a year, and on average, they are making below a living wage in all 50 states.

One job should be enough.
We're building a movement of NEA members and public education allies across the country. We’re calling on education leaders and policymakers to invest in ESPs, respect their professional expertise, and recognize their vital contributions to student learning and well-being. 

Pledge Your Support for the NEA ESP Bill of Rights

ESPs want and deserve:

Fair Compensation One job should be enough! ESPs should not have to work multiple jobs to maintain financial independence.
Recognition and Respect ESPs play a vital role on the education team and in students' lives inside and outside the classroom. They keep our schools running and our students safe, healthy, and ready to learn every day. They deserve to be respected and recognized as accomplished professionals.
Safe and Healthy Work Environment ESPs deserve a safe and healthy workplace that is free of violence, including physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, and free of exposure to hazardous materials. ESPs deserve clear safety protocols, appropriate supplies, safely maintained equipment, training on workplace regulations, and whistleblower protections.
Affordable Healthcare ESPs should have access to affordable health insurance.
Paid Leave ESPs deserve paid leave, including personal days, sick days, parental/caregiver leave, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits.
Professional Learning and Career Advancement ESPs deserve high-quality, job-related professional learning and accessible opportunities for career advancement. Seniority rights must be protected when ESPs pursue promotions and request transfers, and at times of layoffs or furlough.
Workload and Staffing ESPs have the right to a workload that allows them to excel in their assigned positions. ESPs deserve a voice in establishing fully staffed shifts, clear work protocols, and resources that support their careers.
Retirement ESPs have the right to a secure retirement. All their years of service should count toward a pension.
Protection from Privatization ESPs should be free of the threats of privatization that risk the stability of school communities, silence the voice of employees, and further undermine the value of the services they provide in their jobs.
Right to Bargain ESPs deserve a strong voice in their workplace that includes the right to join their union and advocate for the rights and protections they deserve. Bargaining and advocacy ensure they enhance student learning and improve educator working conditions–benefiting students, schools, and the community as a whole.

How to Build a Strategic Campaign

Learn how NEA members, staff, and leaders have partnered in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois to build a state-wide campaign to increase ESP visibility, rights, and respect.

Watch Now!

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.