SUPPORT WINSLOW SCHOOL DISTRICT PARAPROFESSIONALS
The Winslow School District paraprofessionals (Teacher Assistants, Non-Instructional Assistants, Bus Aides, and Before and After School Program Attendants) work for a contractor named ESS Support Services.
The contractor pays the TAs and other support staff low wages and provides no benefits. ESS also keeps 26% of the money the school district pays for each contracted support staff member.
Before 2010, Winslow TAs and other paraprofessionals were direct Winslow School District employees. When we worked directly for the district, we had better wages, benefits, and pensions. The school district contracted us out to save money, and our wages and benefits were immediately slashed.
|COMPARISON||Winslow School District Employees||Winslow ESS Contracted School District Employees|
|Health Insurance||Employer-paid, comprehensive||Completely employee paid, very little coverage|
|Pay||Clerical Assistant – $25,103-$43,766 annual||Teacher Assistant – $16,560 annual*|
|Vacation||10 paid days||Unpaid|
|Holidays||14 paid days||Unpaid|
|Inclement Weather||Paid any time school is closed||Unpaid|
|Sick Days||10 paid days||5 paid (Required by NJ law)|
|Bereavement Leave||5 paid days||Unpaid|
|Personal Days||3 paid days||Unpaid|
*Teacher Assistant (TA) annual mean wages are $29,180 nationally, $29,150 in New Jersey, and $27,630 in Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington. Winslow TAs are paid far below these levels. Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
We care about our students, but we need living wages and benefits just like the rest of the Winslow School District employees. ESS claims that they need more funding in their contract with Winslow School District in order to provide better wages and benefits to the TAs and other paraprofessionals. Winslow School District is financially healthy – it can afford to provide wages for its TAs and other paraprofessionals that don’t keep us in poverty.
Please join us in asking the Winslow School District to provide more funding in the ESS paraprofessional contract for better wages and benefits! Email Winslow Superintendent H. Major Poteat (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Winslow Board of Education President Cheryl Pitts (Pittsch@winslow-schools.com) to tell them that you support fair wages for the paraprofessionals. Better staff treatment creates a better education environment for our community’s children.