| ||The SLUE ESP Committee, from left to right: SLUE ESP Committee Chair John Linneman, Mary Anderson, Jan Jecevicus, WEAC Secretary-Treasurer Betsy Kippers, Arlene Braden, and SLUE UniServ President Ron Brandt. |
What better way to celebrate Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day than by sharing your ESP victories? Southern Lakes United Educators' (SLUE) ESP Committee set the stage for a wonderful ESP Day program with more than 120 members in attendance all celebrating the year’s successes on the local, state, and national level.
WEAC Secretary-Treasurer Betsy Kippers began the evening recognizing all ESP members across the state and various ESP victories. Betsy highlighted the efforts of all ESP members across the state in making huge strides in ESP Retirement Equity so ESP members are treated more fairly under the Wisconsin Retirement System. She continued on to comment on other changes ESP members help encourage.
“I’m pleased to say Wisconsin has new rules about indoor air quality, to ensure our working environments are safe. Bullying prevention programs are now required to help students know how to stop this behavior before it gets out of control. And we have taken a step forward in the area of interest arbitration, as well,” Betsy said.
Betsy applauds ESP members, and WEAC members across the state, for helping to bring the urgency of health care reform to light: “You have helped shine a spotlight on the need for our nation to figure out an answer to the health care dilemma. It’s something that affects so many of you in a very personal way. But we’re not through yet. I urge you to put the same energy into lobbying our senators for health care reform as you did when advocating for retirement equity.”
The SLUE ESP Day Program participants were not only recognized and appreciated for their efforts, they also became activists. Betsy and the SLUE ESP Committee requested that each ESP member continue the fight for health care reform by calling their legislators to tell them why health care reform is so critical.
The evening ended with participants sharing their victories to keep the momentum alive. Some ESP members spoke of their efforts to build community relationships by giving to local charities. Others shared of their pride and support in each staff members from the principal, to the librarian, to the math teacher, to the custodian and secretary. And some celebrated successes in the local union such as increased member involvement and bargaining successes. They were all victorious at the end of the evening in their hearts because they donated food to a local food pantry for the holidays.
Betsy asks each of us to remember and recognize yourself, when she says, “You know all things are possible. Embrace the power you hold in the fact that you are, and always will be, essential. Believe that things can be different. And know that your voices are that difference.”
Take action to continue to support ESP Day and your fellow ESP members:
- Cyberlobby on issues that are passionate to you such as health care reform and indoor air quality.
- Make every day ESP Day, and appreciate each other throughout the year.