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News From IEA

There are some important issues and changes in law that directly impact school support staff the Illinois Education Association wants to draw your attention to, including:
  1. A survey for teachers’ aides and classroom paraprofessionals who have been physically harmed on school grounds to share your experiences;
  2. A new law that allows employees of special education co-ops who are part of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund system to count unused sick days toward retirement from one district when they go to another;
  3. The state’s new $15 minimum wage law, and;
  4. A new measure that allows schools to tap into additional money to hire school counselors, mental health professionals and resource officers to improve safety.
1. First up, the survey 
Are you a teachers’ aide or classroom paraprofessional who has been physically harmed on school grounds between Aug. 1, 2017 and June 1, 2020?
Charles Bell, Ph.D., an assistant professor of criminal justice studies at Illinois State University, is looking for teachers and teachers’ aides from middle schools and high schools (grades six to 12) in Illinois to participate in his research study, which is exploring educator victimization, safety and your perceptions of school punishment.

The information will be used to make school policy recommendations regarding the safety of K-12 educators and staff members. All responses are confidential and respondents will be paid $50 each for completing the study.

The Illinois Education Association has agreed to promote this study to help gather data in regard to a new business item passed at the 2019 IEA Representative Assembly, in which the IEA was directed by members “to develop a toolkit to help local leaders bring awareness to and provide support and proactive strategies to represent the needs of members who have been victims of physical or sexual assault at work.”

Bell has agreed to share his findings with IEA when the study is complete.

Please feel free to share this study with your teachers. If you have any questions about the study, please feel free to email Bell at CABELL6@ILSTU.EDU or call 313-953-6772.

2. New sick day law
In the past, employees of special education co-operatives who contribute to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund have not been eligible to keep accumulated unused unpaid sick leave when they leave that district and apply it toward their retirement when they go to a new district.

With special education co-operatives dissolving in many areas of the state, this is a major issue for IEA’s teacher aides and classroom paraprofessionals.

So, in the most recent legislative session, IEA drafted and worked with members in the metro east area and legislators to pass House Bill 2884, which allows IMRF contributors to leave those accumulated days with the current district (up to a year’s worth) and apply them toward their final retirement calculations, no matter which district they are employed in when they finally do retire. This is a major victory for IEA members.

3. $15 minimum wage law
The IEA has been fighting for a living wage for years and this year, the Illinois legislature finally passed a $15 minimum wage law.

The new plan will raise the Illinois minimum wage to $9.25 per hour from $8.25 on Jan. 1, followed by a gradual increase every year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025.

IEA anticipates this will help raise the pay of members who currently fall below the $15 per hour threshold, but also likely will help raise the pay of other members as the bottom of the scale rises.

4. School safety hires
Legislation also was passed this year that directs districts to develop threat assessment teams made up of school personnel, mental health professionals and local law enforcement to determine whether there are threats in the district and how to address them.

It also allows the district to expand the use of the countywide 1-cent-sales-tax dollars some counties have passed to pay for building projects to also pay for safety improvements, as well as personnel to help keep schools safe, including school resource officers, school counselors and other mental health professionals.

Letter from Lily

NEA Home
Dear Member,

Did you watch the presidential debates? We saw how twenty (20!!) candidates vying for our nation’s highest office would tackle some of the most pressing issues we face right now—the cost of health care, climate change, voting rights, and systemic racism.

We even heard about the high cost of higher education and keeping schools safe from gun violence.

But there are so many issues affecting educators and students that they didn’t address.

So, what issues do you think the presidential candidates should talk about most? Submit your question right now.

In the coming months, I’m sitting down with many of the 2020 candidates and putting them on the record on a whole host of issues—funding Title I and IDEA, closing the educator pay gap, racial segregation in schools, protecting Dreamers, (not) arming teachers…you name it.

We are gathering questions to ask the presidential candidates from you, NEA’s members. We want them to see our nation’s educators and hear firsthand what’s at the top of their concerns.

So, as an educator, what issues are you concerned about that the next president must address?

Help us draw attention to the challenges facing public education by telling us what matters most to you, your students, and your community. Submit your questions to ask the presidential candidates right now.

With so many people running, we want to make sure you are able to see the differences to best make up your mind.

In solidarity,

Lily Eskelsen García
President
National Education Association

Important Information

 For all 9 month employees and regular ed. parapro’s for elementary schools.

Please see the information below about your work statements for the coming school year.

PLEASE READ:

2019-20 9-Mo Employee Work Statements

The 2019-20 employee work statements for 9-month PASS employees have been posted to print out and/or view on the Employee Portal with the exception of regular ed paraprofessionals assigned to elementary.  You will be notified of your assignment as soon one is available.  10-, 11-, and 12-month employee work statements were posted in late June.

The salary increase for staff returning in 2019-20 is 4.5%.

If your position has changed within the last few days, you will receive a separate email when the change is processed.

Logon to IVisions; Click Self-Service/Documents/19-20 Employment Statement

If you have any questions regarding your statement, please email Debbie Tjernagel – dtjernag@psd202.org.

Thank you.

Angie Van
Coordinator for Administration & Personnel