ESP Negotiations

03.08.2017 President Fusco again displayed her commitment to the Education Support Professionals by participating in the negotiation session. BTU Vice President Terry Lopez Preuss and our new Chief of Staff, Jennifer Lamont also attended in a great show of solidarity, marking the first time that the top three BTU executives have attended an ESP negotiation.  President Fusco let the team members know that their hard work, efforts, and energy are greatly appreciated!

Even though several provisions remain under consideration, there was significant movement at this session.

The following provisions were tentatively agreed to:

  • Article 5 O — (Leave for officers)
    BTU has the option of releasing local executive union officers.  Presently, only the ESP Vice President IS ON LEAVE. Now, a second ESP will be provided release time providing the BTU budget allows for it.
  • Article 5 S — District Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting/Employee Protection
    Currently this requires employees to notify the child abuse designee at the school location in addition to the Child Abuse Hotline.  This additional requirement conflicts with State Law.  Now, the only requirement is to report abuse to the Child Abuse Hotline.  If the employee wishes, they may also report it to the principal, but this is not mandatory.

  • Article 17 P — Supplements)
    ESPs work schedule may not be altered for the sole purpose of circumventing paying a supplement which is time mandated (i.e. after school bus duty).

Next session: Negotiations will resume Monday, April 3 at 2:00 at BTU.  All members of the bargaining unit are invited attend.

02.16.2017 The parties met at BTU and tentatively agreed to the following:
Article 6
ESPs may now leave the school grounds during their duty free lunch with permission from the principal.  Whereas before they could only request and receive authorization for emergencies.  Additionally there appeared to be a lack of continuity as to the utilization of the planning day immediately prior to the start of the school year.  Some schools used this day for orientation.  For clarification purposes the language clearly states that this day is for planning.
Article 9
It will now include a provision addressing Harassment of Stewards.  President Fusco was extremely pleased with this agreement because it allows the ESP stewards the same protection afforded to the Education Professionals/teachers. 
Article 12
Pool days were increased from 50 to 125 days. 
There are several provisions remaining including the economic package which is forthcoming.  President Fusco was  pleased with the tenor at the table and remains optimistic.

01.11.17 The parties met and exchanged proposals at Arthur Ashe Jr. Campus.

Present for BTU: Soraya Dupigny, Teacher Assistant, The Quest Center; Andy Ford, FEA Regional Director; Maria Kennedy, Teacher Assistant, Coral Springs elementary; Roosevelt Mcclary III, District ESE Behavior Tech; Dane Ramson, BTU Chief Negotiator and Jimmy Witherspoon, BRACE Advisor, Dillard High School.

Present for the District: Eric Chisem, Director-Non-Instructional Staffing; Dorothy Davis, Chief Negotiator & Director, Employee and Labor Relations; Nieves Grzybek, Administrative Assistant and Ivan Perrone, Treasurer.

This session afforded each party the opportunity to open 3 articles, in addition to insurance and wages. The District's put forth clarifying proposals for Articles 1, 5, 6 and 15: updating department names and titles based upon recent organizational chart changes. Substantively, the District presented changes to Article 17 proposing that overpayment language include a modified procedure for those facing financial hardship.

BTU-ESP Proposed Changes

    Article 5
  • Delete charges and cost for utilizing schools facilities and equipment.
  • Requested mandatory physical restraint training for all ESPs assigned to EBD Clusters, Centers and Special Needs children.
  • Principals must maintain confidentiality regarding employees reporting child abuse.
  • Assignments to allocate additional ESPs to cafeteria duty would be made in reverse seniority order (the newest being assigned first).
    Article 9
  • adding steward harassment language and release time for Union meetings.
    Article 12
  • increasing the number of pool days scripter corrections.
  • Requested that all BRACE Advisors be placed on a 196 calendar.
The parties will review and research proposals and then schedule the next session.

01.09.17 The second BTU-ESP Negotiation Session has been scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 2017 from 2:00 - 5:00 PM. This meeting will be held in Orientation Conference Room of the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Campus. Employee Relations has approved the following Education Support Professionals to be released all day to attend this meeting Lila Benbow (Margate Middle), (Linda Cote). Maplewood Elementary, Soraya Dupigny (The Quest Center), Marie Kennedy (Coral Springs Elementary), Roosevelt McClary (District ESE), and Jimmy Witherspoon (Dillard High).

12.06.17 & 12.07.17 Input meetings were held to allow any Program Assistants (12.06) or Paraprofessionals (ESPs) to voice their preferences.

11.14.16 The first negotiation session was held at Broward Teachers Union. The ESP team members are: Roosevelt Mcclary, Lila Benbow, Linda Cote, Soraya Dupigny, Marie Kennedy and Jimmy Witherspoon. These members have direct experience and knowledge needed to effectively assist improving the terms and conditions of employment with Broward County School Board to assure continuous and efficient operations. Dane Ramson, is the Chief negotiator for the BTU/ESPs. Dorothy Davis, is the Chief negotiator for the School District.

Each grade level school and the various sites (i.e. elementary schools, special needs centers, middle and high schools, etc) are represented.

The team shall meet, present and exchange full article proposals no later than January 11, 2017. The District will provide the financial information requested regarding wages, hours, and schedules of certain groups.
ESP Negotiations


  • Lila Benbow
  • Linda Cote
  • Soraya Dupigny
  • Marie Kennedy
  • Roosevelt Mcclary
  • Jimmy Witherspoon

Upcoming Sessions
Monday, April 3
2:00 @ BTU
Thursday, April 20
2:00 @ TBA
Thursday, May 4
2:00 @ BTU