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I am writing to express my opinion regarding LBL ESD collective bargaining negotiations.

My son is currently receiving services from LBL ESD to help improve his speech delay. The care and attention from highly-skilled Speech Language Pathologists have immensely improved his communication ability. Without an ability to communicate, children cannot properly interact socially: a key to their development. I fear that these contract negotiations may mean a gap in service for my son, and I also fear for the future reduction of services available to other children when future professionals aren’t given a reason to join the field.

Teachers in general are underpaid and underappreciated. Those at the ESD are no different. Members of my family have worked for ESD and I’ve personally witnessed progressively declining care as more and more is asked with less and less given in return. LBL ESD services several counties, as far reaching as Lincoln City. Without an ability to swap “flex” time, will these professionals be forced to walk out of meetings? I fear the expectation of more work with less pay will dishearten them to provide the wonderful services they do.

It is not fair for these professionals to not be allowed flexible time after 40-hours — especially without a decent pay increase. If we keep asking more of them without providing them a reason to do it, no one will ever want to serve the students like my son who so desperately need it.

Basil Cummins

Albany

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