DCTA balks as DPS sabotages ProComp Bargaining progress
Despite citing the progress made to date in ProComp negotiations, DPS refused to consider a brief two-month extension of the current agreement in order to finalize a new ProComp agreement – and instead insisted on a prolonged three-year extension that would leave teachers mired in a system that everyone agrees must go.
The stalemate occurred at last night’s ProComp Bargaining Session at the District’s Acoma Campus. DCTA immediately rejected the lengthy extension, which would put progress on a much-needed ProComp solution in serious jeopardy. Without an extension, the current ProComp agreement expires on Dec. 31.
“This is just another example of the bait-and-switch the district likes to use in negotiations,” said Henry Roman, president of DCTA. “They profess how in-step they are with teachers’ needs, then do anything they can to prevent progress on behalf of the district’s hard-working professionals.”
The standoff over the extension was precipitated by the district’s delay in gathering data needed by the Association to analyze key issues of the new agreement. Much of the data had been requested weeks or even months ago – and consists primarily of market data on employment as well as PDU information for teachers among the district. The data is critical for both parties to analyze multiple issues, including whether incentives surrounding hard-to-serve and highest-priority schools were working, as well as to further inform the creation of a steps-and-lanes salary schedule.
Although the District acknowledged it could deliver all of the data between now and mid-January, DPS negotiators insisted that more time would be needed to analyze the data – and would not commit to sticking to the agreed-upon goal of creating a new ProComp system in the current bargaining effort. The District insisted that much of the decision-making still needed to be accomplished could be managed through the ProComp transition team, which would remove the public from those decisions and is completely unacceptable to DCTA.
“We are not taking this to the transition team,” said Pam Shamburg, DCTA’s executive director. “The transition team is not a bargaining team, and we are required by law to bargain in public. It’s time to build the system now. Our teachers have been waiting and waiting.”
Extending the deadline for multiple years would effectively crush any progress made the last several months. Progress which both sides have said has been substantial. In fact, the District effusively praised the success of ProComp negotiations just minutes before announcing its intention to sabotage the process.
“I think we’ve come a really long way and we’re in alignment on some really critical stuff – and some big stuff,” DPS negotiator Michelle Berge said of the ProComp talks. “This is a really different conversation than what we’ve had in the past. People are really excited about the idea of getting to a better ProComp.”
Not excited enough, apparently, to compromise on a reasonable 60-day extension to finish the job responsibly.