Dear Team DPS,
The most important thing we can do as an organization is ensure that we are working to support and value our people. This is even more critical as we continue to navigate our budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it's critical to uphold the guiding principles of DPS and those emphasized by the Budget Advisory Committee, including keeping equity at the forefront by minimizing impacts on the classroom and on workers at the low end of the wage scale.
We’re excited to share that on Monday we reached a tentative agreement with our Educational Service Providers (ESPs) that honors these guiding principles. The agreement also continues the DPS and Board of Education’s investment in our people and our commitment to equity. Yesterday's agreement offers salary increases above our scheduled commitment to raise the lowest minimum wage at DPS to $14.77 an hour, starting Aug. 1.
The tentative agreement honors our workers by providing funding for agreed upon steps and longevity while also funding cost-of-living increases for these team members. And if Denver's voters approve a mill-levy tax increase that is expected to be on the November 2020 ballot, that cost-of-living increase will go up by an additional 0.5% increase Jan. 1, 2021. Read the full agreement here.
Thank you to all of those who supported in reaching this important agreement for these critical members of our team. In these difficult times, it’s important we’re able to support our team members at the lower end of the wage scale -- who in turn help us all best support our kids.
While we celebrate these new supports for employees, I recognize the budget is only one piece of a larger puzzle as we approach the start of the 2020-21 school year, and there are still many questions and anxieties as we plan our return to school. We hope to share more details about the return later this week, including how we’re planning to protect our staff, students and all members of our community. We will continue to share updates in real-time as they’re available so we can all return to our schools and buildings feeling safe and prepared to support our students.
I hope you and yours are staying well.