ProComp Bargaining convened again on Thursday as the DCTA and DPS Bargaining Teams gathered to continue discussing the identified issues both sides agreed were key to creating and implementing a new compensation system for DCTA bargaining unit members. Thursday’s session focused on the creation of a steps-and-lanes salary schedule and how each part of the requirements of the ProComp Ballot language could, or could not fit into that model.
A steps-and-lanes salary schedule is the number one goal of DCTA’s ProComp Bargaining Team. This type of salary schedule is the similar to that used by Traditional Salary Schedule Teachers in DPS. Each step in that schedule is awarded based on years of service, and each lane awarded based on professional development and advanced degrees. Both of those result in a predictable and transparent increase to the base rate of pay for a teacher. Currently, ProComp teachers only use the salary schedule once — for initial salary-setting purposes. All increases to base are then earned through ProComp incentives. If the teacher does not jump through the ProComp hoops, the teacher does not receive these salary builders. The following are some highlights of the requirements of the ballot language discussed:
How do we meet the requirements of increasing teaching knowledge and teaching skills by successfully completing ProComp-approved advanced degrees, professional teaching standards, licenses and additional training?
Both teams discussed addressing this portion of the ballot language requirements through the potential implementation of the steps-and-lanes salary schedule. Teachers on the current Traditional Salary Scale have benefited from advanced degrees and professional development by moving lanes, resulting in an increased base salary. DCTA believes that a similar system should be used for teachers in ProComp, as well, rather than requiring ProComp teachers to do more work via the current PDU system to earn that increase.
While the district doesn’t view advanced degrees as impact on academic outcomes, teachers disagree. Teachers strongly believe that the additional education provides a tremendous benefit to their effectiveness in the classroom, enables high schools to provide concurrent college enrollment classes for students, and is a core value for educators.
How do we meet the requirement of positive evaluations of teaching performance?
In order to achieve this requirement, the two teams again discussed the idea of a steps-and-lanes salary schedule. The most talked about concept was the idea of teachers moving a step each year as long as they achieved an “Approaching” or better evaluation score, resulting in an increase to that teacher’s base rate of pay. This is the same system used for teachers on the current Traditional Salary Schedule.
How do we meet the requirements of achieving distinguished school status?
In an effort to fully fund a steps-and-lanes salary system in which all teachers could accrue as much base pay as possible, the two teams discussed moving the “distinguished school” status away from top performing/high growth and instead using other metrics. Many ideas were discussed on what that metric would be but no concrete decision was made.
The next ProComp Bargaining Session is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 18 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 1617 S. Acoma St. in Denver.