Comment comes after DCTA recommends an extension to current ProComp Agreement
DENVER – Following preliminary progress during a marathon 15-hour bargaining session, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association advocated signing an extension of the current ProComp Agreement until mid January in order to finalize details on a new compensation agreement with Denver Public Schools. In a surprise move, DPS officials balked at the extension, suggesting that the union was seeking to leverage November ballot initiatives around education funding to influence the future agreement – and stating flat out the district’s insistence that no new monies be allocated toward teacher salaries.
“Not one more dime,” said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg when pushed for a reason not to back the extension. Boasberg said he would refuse to seek any General Fund dollars for teacher compensation, even if the estimated $1.4 to $1.9 billion education funding ballot initiatives succeeded in the fall. This comment came despite Boasberg’s numerous assurances throughout the day that he wanted to work with union officials to find increased funding for Denver educators.
“We’re deeply disappointed in this last-minute reversal from Boasberg,” said DCTA President Henry Roman. “All day long, Tom and his team insisted that we all shared the same goal of helping Denver teachers reach a salary level that allowed them to secure a future within the district that enabled them to raise and care for a family and build a successful career in Denver. We left tonight feeling blindsided.”
Despite the Superintendent’s declaration, DCTA signed the January extension in the hopes that Boasberg would reconsider his abrupt decision. Under the current ProComp Agreement, teachers are subjected to unpredictable salary fluctuations that provide little financial security or transparency, making it extremely challenging to purchase a home, plan for a family or manage monthly expenses like health insurance or retirement savings. The broken compensation system forces many Denver teachers to find education employment elsewhere, making constant turnover within the district an ongoing and troubling trend.
The current ProComp Agreement expired at midnight March 14, leaving behind a host of questions for DCTA officials to navigate. Roman said the union will be speaking with members immediately to determine next steps.
“We’re simply dumbfounded that Tom and the district would take us down this path,” Roman said. “Its not in the interests of anyone who cares about students in Denver or the dedicated professionals who care for them and teach them.”