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Protecting ESP paychecks and benefits

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.