Education Support Professionals (ESP) are the classified staff in our districts and schools (full-time or part-time) who make sure students have the tools and support they need to succeed. This includes paraeducators, food service workers, bus drivers and mechanics, custodians and facility managers, school secretaries and clerical staff, nurses and health aides, maintenance employees, security personnel, landscapers and groundskeepers, technicians, and more.
By joining together in a strong union, CEA membership gives us as education support professionals the power in numbers to negotiate with our employers about our pay and working conditions and to advocate for our professions with elected officials and other decision makers.
In addition, whether it’s access to legal services or discounts on shopping and travel or savings on home and car insurance, membership in the union provides a range of tangible benefits.
How to Join:
Most support staff can join through one of CEA’s 200 local associations or a BOCES Unit at any time of the year. Your membership will include your local association, the Colorado Education Association (CEA), and the National Education Association (NEA). Dues are about half of what teachers pay and are based on the number of hours you work in a year.
Your school’s Association Representative (AR) can tell you more about membership benefits, dues and how to fill out the forms, either a local form or the CEA-NEA Membership Form.
Find a local office near you >>
We hope you will join the thousands of Colorado education support professionals who work together through our local, state and national association to help every student thrive.
- Watch this video of paraprofessional Ann Benninghoff, an ESP member who has gone above and beyond for her students at Littleton’s Dutch Creek Elementary for over 30 years.
- Keep up with current news on the National Education Association’s ESP webpage. There are more than half a million ESPs across the country who are members of the NEA.
Close to retirement?
If you are not retired, but at least 45 years old, you are eligible to join as a Pre-Retired Life member. This is the best, easiest and most affordable way to begin your membership as a retired educator. Learn more about our Pre-Retired membership.
Remember, if you have any NEA member benefits, you must maintain a membership when you retire.
If you work in a school district or BOCES without an active CEA local association, or cannot locate your AR for any reason, use this map to locate an office near you and ask the local staff about belonging.