Tonight we returned to the negotiating table with Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), hopeful that we would continue making progress toward an agreement that ensures our teachers and SSPs are fairly compensated and feel valued for their extraordinary work.
I am committed and motivated to continue working with DCTA. Tonight, I was ready to hear all voices, think creatively, be responsive and make hard decisions. I know that every day matters when it comes to reaching an agreement and preventing a strike. If a strike occurs, there will be a loss of instructional time for our students that cannot be recovered. It is important that we make every effort to reach agreement before we see a strike.
I know that we must maintain our focus on both building competitive base salaries as well as on recruiting and keeping teachers in our high poverty schools. We clearly heard from the DCTA that more money for base salaries was a top priority. In response, our Jan. 18 proposal offered an average 10% increase for our teachers and SSPs in 2019-20 through an investment of $20.5 million. And today, our new proposal adds $3 million new dollars into teacher compensation for 2020-21 and guarantees raises for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.
We will know the exact amount of the raises for 2020-21 and 2021-22 when the Consumer Price Index for those years is released. However, these raises and the existing proposal of $20.5 million will require an estimated investment of $50 million over those three years.
We will make these multi-year investments in teacher compensation by reducing over 100 positions from the central office as well as dedicating future savings and funds in 2020, 2021 and 2022. We know that the years of state underinvestment in school funding can’t be fixed in one year, but we are committed to increasing teacher pay through these measures.
I am disappointed that the DCTA did not engage in the discussion or bring a counter proposal; they also chose to leave at 6:45 p.m. when we were scheduled to bargain until 8 p.m. We came committed to negotiating and had anticipated we would have the opportunity to share additional ideas with DCTA about the structure of the new system.
I remain committed to our teachers and continuing these difficult conversations so that we can avoid a strike. We will continue to provide updates as they are available. In the meantime, please visit greatteachers.dpsk12.org for more information about DPS’ proposal.
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Three Years of Guaranteed Raises for Teachers and SSPs
2/1/2019 Comments (-1)-1