Negotiations Stall as DPS Leaves Table, Leaves Denver Teachers Searching for Answers


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DENVER ?Denver Public Schools representatives met briefly yesterday with bargaining team members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, but departed early never to return. It?s not a good sign for reaching a settlement against a Friday deadline when the compensation agreement between DPS and DCTA expires.


Denver teachers desire a salary structure with predictable and reliable base pay, like most every other school district offers in Colorado. But DPS did not respond to the teachers? proposal to fundamentally change the ProComp experiment of bonuses and incentives that insults teachers who are already giving maximum effort for their students.


?We?ve been waiting on them since 11:00 a.m. and we still don?t have an answer,? said Rob Gould, Denver teacher and lead negotiator of the DCTA Bargaining Team in a live Facebook feed at the end of yesterday’s public bargaining session. ?We?re hoping that we?ll have an answer on Thursday. We?re planning on being back here again at 9:00 a.m. to wait for that answer.?


The DPS claim that its current proposal adds a 10% average increase for teachers is misleading. DCTA counters that the DPS proposal will favor the recruitment of new teachers over the retention of effective, experienced educators already serving in Denver classrooms, while the focus needs to be on both.


?Under the district?s latest offer, a teacher will see good pay increases only in the early years of a career. The district will continue to struggle to be competitive with surrounding districts when holding on to experienced teachers,? said DCTA President Henry Roman. ?Denver students deserve to have teachers who stay in the district for the entirety of their career and I would like to see the DPS team bring a proposal that honors this need when they decide to return to bargaining.

?The district is not meeting the community’s expectations for fair teacher compensation and must commit to reaching an agreement on salary structure that values teachers who want to make Denver home and enjoy a long, rewarding career serving students in our public schools,? Roman added.

The next public bargaining session between Denver teachers and DPS is happening tomorrow (Jan. 17) at 1617 S. Acoma St. starting at 9:00 a.m.