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Support staff deserving of better benefits

Published: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

I’m writing this letter in support of the support staff union in the Oregon School District.

Schools are made up of several departments that work together to educate our students.

Administrators implement plans and evaluations of teachers and teacher’s aides, and keep the discipline of the schools. Teachers guide our children though their education process.

Well, the support staff runs the schools. Secretaries handle phone calls and greet you with a smile. Custodians keep the schools running, working countless hours. Cooks feed our students (many of whom wouldn’t eat otherwise).

Bus drivers get our children to and from school safely. Teacher’s aides help run classrooms, work one-on-one with students, and keep a safe eye on the students before and after school, during lunch and recesses.

Without the support staff, a school simply could not function.

All teacher’s aides have college degrees (some of them are certified teachers themselves). Secretaries have administrative training. Cooks follow nutrition guidelines. Bus drivers must have CDLs and great driving records.

Our support staff members have all this training and dedication to their jobs, yet nearly all work for near minimum wages.  

Almost all have families, but they cannot put their families on their insurance coverage without working for literally pennies after costs. Teachers and administrators are fairly compensated for their hard work with good wages and good benefits while the support staff is denied such care.

Why is this so? Why are those people who care for our children just as much as anyone else (if not more) treated so poorly?

Oregon’s School Board doesn’t care about how hard its support staff works, or how much they are dedicated to their students; the board just cares about money. Please show support for Oregon School District’s support staff and get them their just benefits.

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