Update on Talks with DCTA

Sep. 25, 2018

Dear School Leaders and Educators,

As you heard from our communication last week, Amendment 73, also known as the Great Schools, Thriving Communities ballot initiative, is up for a statewide vote in November. Last night, DPS and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) met to discuss DPS’ proposal to add $36 million into teacher compensation if the amendment passes as well as what to do if the ballot initiative does not pass.

Under the DPS Proposal, the $36 million increase would be used to:

  • Simplify ProComp and put more dollars into salary building for all teachers.
  • Increase salary building for veteran teachers beyond year 14.
  • Increase starting salaries for all teachers to almost $50,000 and to almost $60,000 for our new teachers in our highest poverty schools.
  • Double the current incentive for all teachers in high-poverty schools to $5,000 a year.
  • Allow teachers on the traditional salary schedule to join ProComp.

If Amendment 73 does not pass, DPS is committed to honoring the five-year agreement that DPS and DCTA worked hard to reach last fall. Under that contract, teachers will receive an estimated 15% increase in compensation over a three-year period: 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

In the negotiations last night, DCTA asked for a deeper breakdown of the 15% increase. We provided the following details about compensation increases for these three years, pursuant to the five-year DPS-DCTA contract that expires in 2022:

  • For 2017-18, educators received an average 6.05% increase in compensation. This included the $1,400 cost-of-living increase for all educators, ProComp base pay increases, the new $1,500 Title I incentive, and the increased contributions to PERA.
  • For 2018-19, educators in ProComp received an average 2.2% increase in base-pay increases from their ProComp base-building incentives (Professional Evaluation and PDUs). They also received a cost-of-living increase of 2.64%. The total average increase was therefore 4.84% before benefits (which is another .25%). This was higher than our non-licensed employees who received an average 3.4% increase.
  • For 2019-20, educators will receive the 2.2% average base-pay increase from their ProComp incentives as well as a cost-of-living increase, which is estimated to be 2.34%. That would result in a total increase of 4.54%.

We recognize that increased funding is still critical in order to further increase teacher pay. The Board of Education voted last week to make teacher compensation the largest investment from any additional money received from Amendment 73.

After DPS shared its proposal, DCTA did not offer any counter proposals but instead declared “impasse” — a term in the ProComp agreement that means the two sides are stuck and need the support of a mediator. The district has been advocating for mediation for some time and welcomes the opportunity to move the conversation forward faster and more productively with the support of a mediator.

We will continue to keep you updated regarding our conversations to improve our teacher compensation in DPS.