As we wind down the 2021-2022 school year, I am reminded that we thought this year was to be our return to “normal”. We all know that did not happen, and for the third school year, teachers brazenly put student education a priority over self-preservation. Some time ago, teachers were in a professional category with doctors, lawyers, police, fire, and hospital workers. Sadly, our country has cast a dim light on our profession now. They fail to take the time to recognize that we are molding tomorrow’s leaders today. Despite the negative spotlight on Public Education nationally, Pasco educators have reached down and gathered enough grit to work through another mentally and emotionally taxing year – and with continued success. Kudos to all of you who have weathered this storm. You are what’s right with Public Education!
You are the reason I have continually asked for a secondary source of income for Pasco employees. You deserve more. You deserve better. You have my commitment that we will get back to the bargaining table right away. We will attempt to right some of the wrong done by categorical legislation which has raised the floor in teacher salaries while not addressing the ceiling. Our long-time teachers deserve more. Due to the new $15/hour minimum wage law, SRP will feel compression in their salary schedules, too. This is something we need to address as well. Our goal is to work toward meaningful, recurring salary improvements for all employees for next year!
Most importantly, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, “Thank you,” for not only standing by USEP as we transitioned to a new office staff but grew in density – thanks to YOU! Never has it been more important to stand together as one – not just to beat a terrible statute demanding a certain density level, but to show our District that we are of one mind when it comes to employee salaries, benefits and working conditions. This President and this organization will work tirelessly to change the culture in this District from the top down. Our employees are our most important asset as we strive to give students that world class education we talk about. YOU make the difference. YOU are USEP! Thank you for all you do!
I would be remiss if I did not give a plug for the referendum. Make sure you and your eligible family members are registered to vote by July25, and “vote YES for Pasco Schools!” on August 23. Go to the LiftUpPasco.org to donate today! Help us keep the great professionals we have in Pasco.
Enjoy your summer with family and friends. Get some well-deserved physical and mental rest and we will see you back in August to do it all again.
Thank you for your support of USEP,
Don Peace, President