Support staff are typically the first to arrive at school as they unlock doors and turn on lights. They are some of the first people to greet students when they arrive at school in the morning, who give students the academic support they need to become successful scholars, who carefully assist with their health, safety, and nutritional needs, and are the last people who see students safely home at the end of the day. The value of their work is priceless.

So it’s time we start treating them that way!

RESPECT | Raising Education Support Professionals by Elevating Careers Together is a statewide effort by ESPs, with the support of IEA staff, to improve working conditions by focusing on five areas:

  • Wages – A minimum salary, fair substitute teaching compensation and unemployment insurance

  • Health insurance – Affordable health insurance for the currently employed and the retired

  • Pensions – Making the Tier 2 pension system equitable for all education employees

  • Retention and recruitment – Tuition reimbursement, Grow Your Own Teacher from ESP to certified, quality professional development, paid family leave and licensing fees relief

  • Job duties – Quality job-related professional development, “hold harmless” language for assigned
    duties, appropriate access to IEPs and suitable job duties for ESPs

Please Join Us!

Educate: RESPECT is looking for gatherings of support staff to talk to about the campaign. The more who know about it, the more who join, the louder our voice and the greater effect we can have.

Organize: Tell your co-workers about RESPECT. Get involved. Sign up to join the RESPECT movement that can change the lives and the careers of those who do some of the hardest and most vital work in our districts, colleges and universities.

Take Action! Help us as we pass laws, change rules and make a difference! Help us help support staff you know to educate, organize and take action for RESPECT.

Visit the ESP Council Website: The ESP council’s goal is to represent and support ESP’s throughout Illinois.

Download and Share


RESPECT Flier (Spanish)

Talking Points


RESPECT Poster (11×17)

RESPECT – Felicia Solomon

RESPECT – Gina Lozano

RESPECT – Johnny Ramos

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