By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis educators say they plan to rally Monday for higher pay for hourly educators on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Educators are calling for higher pay and benefits for education support professionals and hourly workers in the Minneapolis Public Schools, according to a release from the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers.

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“Minneapolis ESPs are not making enough to get by, they are not making enough to stay and they are not making enough to accept the status quo,” said Shaun Laden, ESP chapter president of the MFT.

The education support professionals, which includes special education assistants and child care providers, are negotiating a new contract with the MPS, said the release.

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ESP’s are asking for starting compensation to increase from $20,000s to $35,000 a year by increasing hours and increasing hourly pay. The group is also negotiating for more affordable health insurance for individuals and families.

The release says more than 10% of the education support professional jobs in the MPS are unfilled due to the staffing crisis during the surge of Omicron.

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Organizers say they plan to march through downtown Minneapolis starting at 2 p.m. Monday.