DCTA Bargaining Update: August 23, 2022

The DCTA bargaining team negotiated with the district for five hours last night.  Conversations were centered around evaluations, educator voice, class sizes, caseloads, workloads and planning time. We utilized the interest based bargaining (IBB) model to facilitate today’s conversations (learn about IBB here).

Here are some of the main takeaways from last night’s session:

  • We presented our goals to lower class sizes. The district finally admitted that their figure of 14:1 ratio was a mis-characterization of the reality that our educators live and work daily. They admitted that they did not have the data necessary to really understand or tackle the problem. They originally stated that higher than average class sizes only affected 20% of our classrooms only to later pull back that statement admitting that they pulled that data subset.
    • We are asking for class size caps of 20-24 students for K-3 teachers, 20-25 students for 4th and 5th grade teachers, 20-25 students for middle school teachers, 25 students for high school teachers and 25 students for core class teachers. The district is unwilling to commit to these class size caps. In fact, they are unwilling to commit to creating a realistic plan to reach this goal. 
    • Given that, the district agreed to utilize our Instructional Issues Council to dive deep into the class size issue to include monitoring of class size data by classroom in order to come together and make recommendations on multiple levels to tackle our class size issues.
  • We presented our goals in implementing caseload caps. Currently, there are no caseload caps for SSPs or special education teachers. However, the district continues to push higher caseloads. The district’s approach of using a budget guidance manual for caseloads hasn’t supported our students with special needs. Unfortunately, guidance is not enforceable and schools are forced to balance the budget with higher caseloads which ultimately hurts our students with the most significant needs.
  •  We’ve made some significant gains on LEAP evaluations including:
    • Incorporating the LEAP Pilot program that is focused on coaching and support into the collective bargaining agreement. 
    • Gaining the ability to amend the Fairness Guide
    • Continuing the conversation about the effectiveness, and appropriateness of decision bands.
    • SSP Growth and Performance Committee that will tackle specifically SSP issues, as well as the ability to create a special education specific subgroup.

Upcoming bargaining dates:

  • TODAY, August 24th at the DPS Emily Griffith Campus on the 14th floor (1860 Lincoln St, Denver, CO 80203) from 5:00p.m. – 10:00 p.m. WEAR RED WHEN YOU COME TO BARGAINING!
    • Compensation will be the only topic of discussion for the evening in an interest based bargaining format.
  • Thursday, August 25th at the DPS Acoma Campus (1617 S Acoma St, Denver, CO 80223) from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    • Bargaining Topics:
      • Article 7 – Grievance Procedures
      • Article 15 – Educator Facilities
      • Article 16 – Personal Injury, Benefits and Property Damage
      • Article 23 – Professional Behavior 
  • Wednesday, August 31st at the DPS Acoma Campus (1617 S Acoma St, Denver, CO 80223) from 9:00 a.m. – midnight or until the contract is settled (our goal is to complete bargaining by this date).  

If you cannot join us for bargaining in-person, you can watch the livestream at: https://vimeo.com/event/561744