DCTA Presents Latest Compensation System Proposal

Last night the DCTA Bargaining Team met for the first time with the new DPS Superintendent, Ron Cabrera amidst a packed room of teachers, SSPs, and parents who were also phone banking likely voters during breaks in the action.
 
The DCTA Bargaining Team presented its newest proposal for a new compensation system that puts more emphasis on base building and less on one-time incentives, while also increasing salaries for all teachers. DCTA proposed an additional $50 million in base pay for teachers and SSPs if Amendment 73 passes next week, as well as a requirement to reopen teacher/SSP workload maximums in the Master Agreement. You can read our full proposal here.
 
The team also reviewed the history of ProComp and highlighted the problems teachers and SSPs face under the current system for the interim Superintendent, who seemed to be largely uninformed about the current compensation system.
 
Rather than presenting a proposal or pledge, Dr. Cabrera asked questions, including questions about the “norms” for behavior at bargaining sessions. He said, “I don’t mind that the audience is here and listens, but we have to be respectful.” Dr. Cabrera’s misunderstanding of the role of the audience during bargaining was met with vocal dissent. Teachers and SSPs have grown weary of being shushed by the district that ignores them.
 
DCTA’s Bargaining Team educated the new superintendent quickly on the importance of listening to and speaking to the room full of voting members who will decide whether we ratify the next Agreement or go on strike this January. With that in mind, we heard from two DPS special educators who are struggling with the current compensation system.
 
One teacher received only $300 in her first paycheck from DPS under true pay. When she complained to the District about the mistakes in her pay, they told her they would “get it right next time.” Another DPS teacher had to start her own business to make ends meet, and she earns over $800 in one afternoon selling soap at a farmers market, the same she earns for spending a school year completing a PDU.
 
The message came through loud and clear. Performance pay incentives are no incentive at all and the ProComp system is so unpredictable and complicated that teachers and SSPs can’t count on or survive on their income in DPS.
 
The session ended with the DCTA Bargaining Team pushing to schedule our next session, which is tentatively scheduled for November 7. It is our hope and expectation that Dr. Cabrera and his team come prepared to bargain. That means bringing their own counter proposal on a new compensation system that addresses the concerns of teachers.
 
We need you at the next bargaining session to hold DPS accountable. It’s time for DPS to answer to the teachers and SSPs struggling under ProComp. Be there to support your bargaining team!