Last week, the bargaining team spent two whole days negotiating our master agreement with the district. Conversations were centered around the rights of BIPOC educators, Article 19 and Articles 21-29. We were also joined by researchers at CU Boulder who presented their findings on bias within the LEAP evaluation system.
Here are some key takeaways from last week:
- We presented proposals around equity language for BIPOC Educators. Some of these proposals include:
- Implementing programs that focus on attracting and retaining BIPOC educators. Including supporting ESPs in attaining education licenses and providing students of color opportunities to pursue a career in education.
- Providing educators with the tools to understand racial identity and its impact in helping create an inclusive working environment for students and employees.
- Creating a BIPOC educator advisory council in collaboration with the superintendent. This is in preparation of a system-wide racial equity plan to be incorporated in schools’ individual Black Excellence Plans.
- Creating policy improvements centered around diversity and equity in instruction and school culture.
- We are asking DPS to guarantee sufficient instructional materials and equipment. The district stated that they would endeavor to provide these materials despite us offering multiple solutions.
- We are asking the district to provide SSPs with designated workspaces within DPS buildings to support students with testing and to manage their caseloads. This is something the district is unwilling to accept at this time.
- We are proposing that all educators receive a significant increase in health insurance benefits. If an educator chooses to opt out of DPS benefits, the district shall provide educators with a benefit credit. The district is not in agreement.
- We proposed allowing long-term substitute teachers the right to join DCTA. We are disappointed that the district is unwilling to allow these educators access to union rights.
- Please note that we will share findings on the CU Boulder study as it becomes available to us.
We remain disappointed in the district’s unwillingness to truly listen to what students and educators need to be successful. Based on your feedback, we know that compensation, caseloads and workloads are issues that are extremely important to you. The district must see that there is strength in our numbers and that we are paying attention. That is why your presence at bargaining (either virtually or in-person) is essential.