Dear Team DPS,
I'm disappointed that the DCTA walked away from the table today. DPS presented an updated proposal that responds to what we have heard from teachers, aligns to our values of equity and retention, honors the ProComp ballot language, and significantly increases the base pay for all our educators.
Some highlights of our proposal tonight include:
- We worked to close the gap between us by bringing an additional $2 million investment in base pay for teachers and specialized service providers (SSPs). This investment will come from additional, painful cuts to our central departments, which we estimate to be an elimination of about 150 positions in the central office. These are really tough decisions, and these cuts will mean the loss of dedicated professionals and will limit the support services we're able to provide to schools.
- Our offer also includes the elimination of performance bonuses for central office senior staff. We would invest those funds directly in our highest-needs schools, with a proposed increase in incentive pay for teaching in our schools with the highest poverty rates. Our offer increases that incentive from $2,500 to $3,000. This is a powerful tool our school leaders value for attracting and keeping outstanding teachers in their schools. It's also a core part of DPS' plan to close opportunity gaps for historically underserved students.
- On average, our educators would see an almost 11% increase in their salaries next year, under our latest proposal. The average teacher salary would increase from about $55,000 to $61,000 next year. And this brings a total investment of $23 million in new funds next year into teacher compensation, and a total investment of $55 million over the next three years.
- Revisions to how professional development would increase pay, using a structure similar to Boulder Valley School District.
DCTA responded with a counter proposal that offered technical changes to the process for earning additional pay for professional development. They did not make any offers that brought us closer together on financial terms.
And again, what's most disappointing is that the union walked out on negotiations instead of continuing to work toward an agreement. DCTA ended negotiations at 7:30 p.m. and indicated they will not return to the table until Tuesday.
There's still time to reach an agreement. I want to be clear that we are willing to continue working every minute we have available to us to avoid a strike and the disruption it would mean for our students, families and teachers. There has been progress the past two days, and we remain ready to come back to the table to keep working toward an agreement.
What you need to know if there is a strike
We will share more information with you soon. If you have any immediate questions, please reach out to your principal or supervisor. Learn more about the strike, access family resources and find the latest updates at teacherstrike.dpsk12.org.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our kids during this difficult time. We will continuing working hard to find a resolution.