The Republic Classified Public Employees Association was awarded a Living Wage grant from the Washington Education Association a few weeks ago. It was one of two grants given in the entire state of Washington.

The grant is intended to assist classified unions to negotiate a living wage for their members. The Republic CPEA will receive substantial financial assistance from the WEA and the NEA to carry out their plan.

The National Education Association sums up the concept of a 'living wage' well:

"Education support professionals (ESPs) keep school buildings and equipment functioning and students safe and healthy. As committed and caring members of a school community, they impact the lives of students every day.

"Yet support professionals are woefully underpaid, often barely able to afford to live in the communities they serve. In many parts of the country, school support professionals work two or even three jobs to feed and shelter their families, or earn so little that they qualify for government assistance.

"Through its nationwide salary initiative, NEA is pushing for an appropriate living wage as starting pay for all education support professionals."