A trying winter, a hopeful spring

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Executive Director's Column

We see you

We see you. Walking with a student who has emotional and physical needs. Helping him navigate the hallways of school. Sitting with her throughout the day; attending to her needs; helping her learn.

We see you. Toiling behind closed doors to make sure your entire school is fed and provided with the nutrition students need to feed their bodies and minds.

We see you ensuring our schools and buildings are well-cleaned and maintained so our students have a safe learning environment.

We see you. The tens of thousands of education support professionals who quietly and consistently provide the supports to keep our students learning and our school doors open. PSEA was founded on the principle of making sure educators are treated justly, and get the salaries, benefits, working conditions, and protections on the job that every member deserves.

Sometimes, the justice we seek can only be found in the halls of the state Capitol.

That’s definitely the case when it comes to increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.

Getting this done is a top priority for PSEA, and it’s part of the RESPECT initiative that’s described in the pages of this edition of Voice. But, to do it, we need to change state law.

Right now, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is lower than all of our neighboring states. At $7.25 per hour, it hasn’t been increased in a decade, and that needs to happen now.

Gov. Tom Wolf and many legislators are all in. And so is PSEA.

The governor’s plan to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2019 and $15 an hour by 2025 is gathering momentum in the Capitol. PSEA is working with unions, advocacy groups, and lawmakers to build on this momentum so that we pass a minimum wage increase this year. 

Why? Because this is simply the right thing to do.

It’s right for the more than 1 million Pennsylvanians who will take home bigger paychecks. It’s right for several thousand PSEA education support professionals who make less than $12 an hour today, people who work very hard to keep our students safe and supported but still struggle to make ends meet.

And it’s right for the economy, too, because it will put more money into the pockets of working people who will spend it at local businesses on food, clothing, and other necessities.

Let’s take pride in our work and demand justice for working people in Pennsylvania. Let’s increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, because it’s the right thing to do. 


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