Bargaining Update: Tentative Agreement Reached

The DCTA bargaining team began negotiating with the district yesterday at 9 a.m. and continued negotiations for 24 hours, past the contract expiration deadline. After a great deal of collaboration and extremely hard work, the DCTA bargaining team was able to reach a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the district this morning around 7:30 a.m.

The past few years have been the most challenging years of our careers. Educators have worked tirelessly to ensure that our students’ needs are met despite unprecedented challenges. We have stepped up to the plate and have gone above and beyond for our students. We are glad to have taken the necessary steps needed to attract, recruit and retain the highest quality educators for Denver students. 

Here are some of the key wins/takeaways within the new Tentative Agreement:

  • 6% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), plus salary schedule advancements based on years of experience and educational advancements (steps and lanes 2.7%), equally 8.7% increase for the first year, which is the highest raise in the Denver Metro area. 
  • A $50,130 starting salary for first year educators. 
  • Increased numbers of educators will receive the hard fill incentive.  
  • Keeping equity on the forefront of everything we do including evaluations and district-wide training. 
  • SSPs and SPED are given 8 release days to complete IEP paperwork.
  • Implementing a joint DPS and DCTA committee that will address equity for BIPOC students and educators.
  • Firm commitments on collaboration to find solutions that address class sizes and caseloads.
  • Expanding distributed leadership within schools and departments; 
    • Defined delineated roles between ILT, SLT, PC, CSC and DLTs for departments.
    • Educators will be compensated for their time serving students and their colleagues on these committees.  
  • Increasing our financial commitment to educators going through the National Board Certification process.
  • Expand professionalism respect by allowing educators to take a Personal day without permission from their administrators. 
  • Ensuring that educators maintain their health benefit credit.
  • Sick leave donation program for educators who are in need of days due to terminal illness or catastrophic events. 

We’d like to give a huge shout out to our amazing bargaining team! The negotiations process has been underway for over a year. The bargaining team has spent countless hours dedicated to creating a strong contract that allows for us to build stronger schools for DPS students. These individuals brought your ideas together and brought them to life. Thank you Lynne Valencia Hernández, Rob Gould, Michelle Horwitz, Valerie Henderson, Ellen Petrila, Amy DeFusco, Kevin Adams, Jane Linneman, Tanessa Bass, Dana Berge, and Brian Weaver.

The bargaining team would like to thank our entire membership. Over the past year, you communicated your ideas and supported the team with your voice. You came to the bargaining sessions and stood with our team. A special thanks to those members that led discussion , actions and organizing during our caucus work time! To our Denver UniServ Staff, we thank you for the countless pep talks for members, listening to member challenges, communicating throughout our meetings and organizing everything in between!. You are all professionals and we appreciate your leadership as the backbone of our organization. 

Next steps: We are currently in the process of making the Tentative Agreement with a salary schedule available to educators within the DCTA bargaining unit (we will communicate when it becomes available). Soon after, DCTA members will have the opportunity to vote for ratification of the Tentative Agreement. The bargaining team has recommended voting in favor. 

If the Tentative Agreement is ratified, members will then be provided with guidance and training around the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. We appreciate your patience as more details become available. 

While we unpack and celebrate this wins… we want to make sure that we support our other Denver UniServ Units that have not yet settled. Next week wear blue to support DAEOP on Tuesday. We will communicate any of ABGW’s solidarity requests as they become available.