Buoyed by collective bargaining actions in West Virginia and Oklahoma, DCTA joins wave of teacher discontent sweeping the nation
DENVER ? The Board of Directors for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) voted unanimously tonight to call for strike preparations among its members if Denver Public School officials do not return to the bargaining table Wednesday with a compensation proposal that provides security, predictability and transparency for Denver teachers and students.
Tuesday?s vote comes as both parties prepare for the final session of ProComp Bargaining Wednesday morning at 8:45 a.m. The current ProComp Agreement expires at midnight Wednesday.
?Under our current compensation agreement and the most recent proposals from DPS, Denver teachers are forced to dedicate their lives to their profession with little security or commitment to their futures,? said Henry Roman, president of DCTA. ?Many DPS teachers cannot afford basic essentials, like health insurance, child care and a mortgage. We are working to create a compensation plan for teachers that allows them to focus on their profession for the long term, which is in the best interest of students, schools and the district.?
DCTA unveiled its vision for teacher compensation in February in a proposal that adds more dollars to teacher base salary across the district while reducing the size of incentive pay that touches only a fraction of the district?s workforce. Teachers hailed the proposal as providing the stability and predictability that would allow them to plan and build a future while working in the district. The DPS counterproposal failed to address low base salaries while it doubled down on incentive-driven bonuses that create the compensation instability and unpredictability driving talented teachers away from DPS.
?The coming teacher shortage in Denver is very real and is a direct result of the pitiful compensation DPS teachers are forced to accept,? Roman said. ?Without bringing forth a compensation proposal that addresses the real financial needs of teachers, as well as the district?s need to recruit and retain quality educators, DPS will fall behind ? and so will DPS students.?
The DCTA Board vote to initiate work action preparations means DCTA will ultimately ask its members to vote to strike should DPS fail to negotiate a fair compensation system following months of negotiations.
The final Compensation Bargaining Session is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday March 14 beginning at 8:45 a.m. at 1617 S. Acoma St. in Denver.