Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wear Red on Nov. 14 – National Education Support Professionals Day

The 3 million plus education support professionals who work in the nation’s public schools deserve everyone’s support. In Milwaukee, this Wednesday, Nov. 14, I ask educators to wear red as a sign of thanks and solidarity with these important education workers.

In the past 18 months teachers and educational assistants often had “wear red” days as we fought against Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on public schools, public services, and public sector unions.  

This Wednesday, on national Education Support Professionals Day, please wear red again. Wearing red sends a simple message of solidarity with our fellow workers. Please also take the time to personally thank the educational assistants, the safeties, the health care assistants, the secretaries, the cooks, and all the other workers in our school system. You might want to write them a note or card, and encourage students and colleagues to do the same.

The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association proudly stands with our paraprofessionals, general aides, interpreters, and safeties, who are members of our union. We also stand with the cooks, food service workers, health care aides, secretaries, engineers, and building helpers who are represented by other unions, or in the case of bus drivers not represented by any union. We stand for strong public institutions that are held accountable through the democratic process.

We wear red and thank education support professionals on Wednesday, and in the days ahead we will support our EAs as they bargain with the school district and fight for respect and justice. Because our educational assistants are among the lowest paid workers in the district and have absorbed the equivalent of a 10% pay cut due to health insurance and retirement benefit changes, it is all the more important for educators, parents and our community to support our educational assistants.

We stand for strong public institutions. They are the building blocks of a democratic society. A key feature of such institutions is treating public sector workers with dignity and respect.

Wear red on Wednesday in solidarity with all Education Support Professionals.

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