DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public School officials responded Saturday after negotiations with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association reached no resolution Friday night. Now, concerns are growing over a potential teacher strike, the first in 25 years according to DPS, after the contract expired at midnight.
“We came to the table to bargain in good faith and offered proposal after proposal – adding $26.5 million and responded to structural concerns – in an attempt to reach an agreement,” Susana Cordova, the district’s superintendent said. “During this time, they made little concession in their demands, reducing their overall request by $2.6 million.”
DCTA is going to meet with the teachers on Saturday and they will either vote to accept the DPS proposal or ratify a strike.
The union has scheduled a strike vote over the course of two days; the first would be Saturday, and the second would be Tuesday. A strike would not begin until the end of the month.
Cordova said the district is committed to keeping schools open and operating on normal schedules during a strike to prevent disruption to the more than 90,000 students and families, the district said in a news release.
Highlights of the district’s latest offer include:
- Average 10% increase in teacher pay for the 2019-20 school year.
- Additional $26.5 million in total teacher compensation.
- Average starting salary of $48,000 with one incentive (which 72% of teachers receive), the highest starting salary in the region and a minimum of $45,500 with no incentives- second highest after Boulder.
- Over 70% of DPS teachers with a Bachelors or a Masters would have the highest lifetime earning potential of any of their peers in the metro area.
- No caps on salaries for all teachers and continuous growth in pay over 30 years.
- Commits to attracting and retaining teachers in our highest-poverty schools and hardest-to-fill positions with incentives of $2,500 to $7,500. More than 70% of DPS teachers would earn at least one $2,500 incentive.
- Promotes retention in Denver schools with a salary increase of at least $3,500 after ten years of serving Denver kids. At the union’s request, the district also restructured their proposed salary schedule, adding more ways for teachers to earn money based on college credits.