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I am a school psychologist with the Education Services District and would like to address the current contract negotiations at the Linn Benton Lincoln ESD.

My colleagues and I have been working without a contract through this school year. My colleagues and I are frequently taking work home on the weekends or staying late for meetings in order to meet the schedule needs of the families we serve. We value our community and work hard to meet deadlines to abide with state and federal laws.

Our employer wants us to work 42 hours before we can begin flexing our time. Never have I heard a colleague complain about going the extra mile, but our employer does not seem to value the extra work we do. While we aim to serve our communities, working over 40 hours per week without pay is not how many of us want to spend our time.

In addition, our employer refuses to provide us with an adequate cost of living increase.

We are in a time where equipping our schools with resources is more necessary than ever, but without valuing the people behind those services, communities in need of this support will suffer. Job retention will flounder, and recruiting and keeping skilled professionals will be unsuccessful. We must take care of our communities by valuing the service workers within them.

Billie J. Cannon

Albany (March 18)

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