As the General Assembly’s new session begins, the Association is partnering with key lawmakers to pass legislation that will protect ESP members’ paychecks and health benefits in case they are furloughed when their schools do not provide in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legislation that state Rep. Dan Miller (D-Allegheny) is prepared to introduce will ensure ESP members have these protections, providing essential security for their jobs and livelihoods.
“This pandemic has hit so many Pennsylvanians so hard,” said PSEA Vice President Aaron Chapin. “We simply cannot allow ESP members and their families to suffer because some of their schools need to close because of the threat of this virus. Rep. Miller’s bill offers the kind of security that ESP members need right now.”
Protections like the kind Miller is proposing were included in Act 13 of 2020, legislation PSEA championed to ensure that educators and support professionals continued to be paid and maintained their health care while all Pennsylvania schools were closed in the spring.
However, the need to reauthorize Act 13’s paycheck and health care provisions for the current school year is just as important now as it was then. In January, ESP members contacted their state representatives to encourage them to co-sponsor Miller’s bill.
“I’m very committed to making sure that the people who work so hard to teach and serve our state’s students aren’t thrown out of work because of this virus,” Miller said. “Support professionals are such an important part of our system of public education, and I’m proud to work with PSEA to try and get my bill passed. In order to get to where we all want schools to be – back to safe, full-time, in-person learning – it is essential that we keep the highly professional workforce in place.”
Stay tuned for updates on this important legislation.