HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Para-educators within the Holyoke Public School system are calling on the district for fair, livable wages.

Teachers rallied at the Holyoke High School’s Dean Campus, ahead of a school committee meeting Monday evening.

The para-educators, who are currently in contract negotiations with the district told 22News, on average, they only make about $18 an hour, and say it is not a livable wage. As for negotiations, they say no progress has been made, and that their next step is mediation.

Paraprofessional Falecia Bagg, told 22News, “Our union has to hire a mediator from the state which could take weeks, if not a month. We have been working a lot harder than we’ve ever worked before in the last couple of years since COVID. It’s time for us to make a livable wage.”

22News reached out to the office of the superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools. They sent us a statement that reads, in part:

“While we wish that we would have been able to reach an agreement at the negotiations table, we trust that the mediation process will result in a good resolution for all paraeducators, students, and the district overall.”

Local News

Kristina D’Amours is a reporter who is a part of the evening 22News team. Follow Kristina on X @KristinaD_WWLP and view her bio to see more of her work.