Dear Team DPS,
Tonight, we met with the DCTA leadership to continue negotiating our ProComp Agreement. It was a productive conversation -- DPS shared a proposal, the DCTA gave us feedback and we committed to return tomorrow to continue working. This is how we will avert a strike -- by staying at the table to get an agreement.
The proposal that we brought tonight again responds directly to what we have heard from our teachers:
· We have heard that the old pay system is too complicated. We agree and have proposed a simple, transparent salary table with steps and lanes.
· We have heard that we need more money invested and higher base salaries. Yes! That’s why we have proposed investing an additional $23.5 million into teacher compensation. This includes $10.5 million of cuts in central office, which will result in the elimination of more than 100 positions. We have also offered guaranteed raises for three years, with a total estimated investment of $50 million.
· We have heard that the old system’s incentives were unpredictable and teachers couldn’t count on them from one year to the next. Our proposal has set incentives that reward teachers for working in hard to fill positions and, importantly, emphasizes equity by rewarding teachers who work in our highest poverty schools.
· We have heard that educator compensation should continuously grow over time. Our proposal allows teachers to grow their salaries over the entirety of their career -- no more 14-year cap.
· We have heard that incentives should be more predictable. We agree and have moved away from incentives that change every year. The incentives that remain are more predictable because the amount remains the same every year.
· We have heard that educator retention is a priority. We agree and are proposing a lane change for serving 10 years in DPS classrooms. We are also proposing incentives for serving in our highest-priority schools, which struggle the most with retention.
Tonight, we engaged with the DCTA in a conversation about how we can honor professional development for our teachers and SSPs with a system that is financially sustainable. We included PDUs as a way for teachers and SSPs to move lanes. And we added more credit options for teachers to move across the lanes in our table including BA+45 and MA+60.
Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) stated that they think we are very close to a resolution -- and I agree. I believe we can work through our differences and avoid a strike if we continue to engage in honest and open dialogue, trade proposals and seek common ground.
We will resume our discussion with DCTA at 1 p.m. tomorrow.