Dear Team DPS,
On Friday, we continued our important conversations with the teachers’ union, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), to reach an agreement on an improved salary system for our educators.
To keep you updated on these discussions, we wanted to share an update about our latest proposal today. We learned this week that Governor Polis is calling for increased state investment in kindergarten. Since DPS has been subsidizing full-day kindergarten, this will free up additional funding that can be used for teacher compensation. Yesterday, we proposed to use $6 million of this funding in increased compensation for teachers and $2 million for our school-support hourly workers such as our paraprofessionals.
View the complete proposal here. We are excited about what these changes would mean for our teachers. The proposal offers:
· A path for educators to earn $100,000 in base pay.
· An additional lane in the salary schedule for earning additional credits beyond a master’s degree, which honors continued education. This is in addition to the 25% increase to tuition and student loan reimbursement we already proposed.
· This proposal, along with previously committed increases, means our educators’ base pay will increase by an average of about 10% in the 2019-20 school year.
We hope these new salary table increases will make a real-life difference in our educators’ lives, as well as offer more predictability and transparency to their pay increases.
We continue our negotiations next week with three more scheduled meetings on January 15, 17 and 18. We continue to be optimistic that we’ll reach a fair agreement even though the union has said publicly that they may strike starting Jan. 28 if we can’t reach agreement.
If we cannot reach agreement by Jan. 18, DPS will immediately ask Governor Polis to intervene and help us get to agreement. It is against Colorado law to strike while the state is working to resolve issues. During that period, we will use every resource that Governor Polis and his team can offer to help us reach agreement to avoid a strike. Under state law, the period of intervention can last up to 180 days (until July). If the state decides not to intervene, we will be providing more information about expected timing of a strike. Please know we are committed to keeping our schools open if union members decide to strike.
Our students continue to be at the forefront of every decision we make in DPS, including in these discussions. And we know that to reach our vision of Every Child Succeeds, we need great educators leading our kids’ education in the classroom. We look forward to reaching an agreement that keeps the best teachers in DPS, bringing an even brighter future for educators, for our kids and for our city.