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Para Bargaining News

Well, the end of the year is here, but unfortunately we have not been able to come to an agreement with the district on a para salary scale.

Our current para educator scale starts at $13.00/hour. The district's latest offer is 2.5%, which would be a $0.33 increase for starting wages. Obviously, HEA does not feel that this is a reasonable offer.

HEA has presented to the district bargaining team their own document, The Market Analysis from the Helena Public Schools that was presented to the Budget and Finance Committee, and which was used to secure the administrative pay scale. That document lists three primary conditions that it maintains the market analysis meets:

1) Occupational comparisons in Public Schools similar in size, demographic and function

2) The Helena Local Job Market

3) Department of Labor and Industry Market Data

The section on Paraprofessionals reads: "Bargaining conversation always relate pay and benefit comparisons to other AAs, and the local pay average.

It goes on to read: "18% pay adjustment to get to market."

The Helena School District paras are dead last in starting pay of all the AA school districts we have data for, and behind by not just cents but by 1-3+ dollars. And, as we all know, the local market in Helena is offering up to $18.00/hour for starting wages.

Why is the pay philosophy good enough for administrators, but not good enough for para educators? Why is the District paying far less than other AA districts? Especially in light of the fact that the district is asking paras to run groups and plan lessons, far outside the scope of their job description.

HEA needs you to come and support our para educators. The paras turned out for teachers, now please, teachers, turn out for our paras.

The next bargaining meeting will be Tuesday, June 14 at 3:45 at the Lincoln Center. It's an easy drive over there right after the PLC conference or the Para Conference. We need your support, we need to show the district that we are behind our para educators 100%.

And don't forget, wear your green!


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