Dec. 13, 2018
New Information about Teacher Compensation Negotiations
Dear Colleagues, 

I wanted to share an update on last night’s negotiation meeting with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA). At last week’s session, DPS presented a proposal to add millions of new dollars to base pay and move millions of dollars from bonuses to base pay. This week, we continued to move forward boldly in order to reach an agreement. 

A summary of our proposal can be found here. A few highlights of the proposal include that it: 

  • Adds $11 million to educator pay.

  • Invests more money in predictable annual salaries and less in one-time bonuses.

  • Commits incentives for educators serving in our highest poverty schools and our hardest-to-fill jobs, such as teaching math and science. About 75% of teachers would earn one of these bonuses.

Better support for every stage of an educator’s career.

  • Increases a new teacher’s starting salary to $45,000, higher than Cherry Creek, Aurora, Jefferson County, Adams Five-Star and Littleton.

  • Grows our tuition reimbursement and/or loan forgiveness by 25% so educators are eligible for up to $1,000 per year for a maximum of $5,000.

  • Offers a new option that provides a lane change salary increase of $3,500 after an educator serves for 15 years in DPS classrooms.

  • There are no salary caps, which are common in other districts, so DPS educators can receive continuous growth in pay for 30 years. For example, a DPS teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 20 years of experience in our schools would earn a salary of $71,750. In Boulder, that teacher would earn $49,665 because their salary growth is capped after five years unless the teacher starts working toward a master's degree.

Simple bonus incentives in key targeted areas.

  • $2,500 a year for educators in all Title I schools (paid monthly).

  • $2,500 a year for educators in hard-to-staff roles (paid monthly).

  • $2,500 retention bonus (paid in fall) for teachers who return to the 30 highest priority schools.

About 75% of educators will receive at least one of these incentives, and 25% will receive two of these incentives.  

DCTA proposed some new language on the what is now called the “Distinguished Schools Incentive” and I am pleased to report that we agreed in principle to the new language and ideas. In particular, we agreed in principle that this incentive will be based on Whole Child metrics rather than on the SPF. I believe we will finalize an agreement soon. Additionally, last week, we signed a tentative agreement on the hard-to-fill/staff incentive.

If you missed last night’s session, you can see it on DPS TV here. We will continue to share updates with you in Teacher Weekly, and you can find all the latest information on the DCTA Updates page on The Commons. 

Ron Cabrera, PhD
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