By Makenzie O’Keefe
DENVER (CBS4) – Teachers from Denver Public Schools are keeping up their fight for more pay in their next contract and say they’re willing to go on strike to get it.
The Denver Classroom Teacher Association says their negotiation with DPS this week regarding the ProComp program was not completed on Wednesday night. That’s Denver’s incentive based pay-for-performance compensation system.
Although they admit the district did make progress on the issue at a nearly 15 hour long meeting, ultimately the two parties did not agree on what to do moving forward.
DCTA says they asked to extend the ProComp program through January of 2019 to allow more time to discuss how to keep the program running. However DCTA said the district did not sign the extension and instead offered a 45 day, 90 day or three year extension.
“We kept hearing there is a school funding problem in this state. We’re ranked 46th in teacher pay. Our schools don’t get the funding they deserve, and we agree with that,” explained Corey Kern, Deputy Executive Director of DCTA. “We told (Superintendent Tom Boasberg) we can extend this and talk more about it.
“Unfortunately he made it very clear to our team in a private meeting that not one more dime is going to teachers whether general funds go up or not.”
The school district told CBS4 on Wednesday: “We are committed to reaching an agreement. We reached agreement in August on our general fund support for teachers, in which we gave our educators the largest raise of any teachers in the metro area. At stake now is the $30 million in Procomp dollars (about 1/10 of total teacher compensation) and we are looking forward to reaching an agreement with the DCTA. If no agreement is reached to change that system, we will continue with the current Procomp system to ensure that teachers continue to receive their Procomp payments.”
The two groups left the meeting without an agreement being made. DCTA is planning to meet with teachers next week to further discuss a strike, and their future plan of action.
Makenzie O’Keefe joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2017. Read her bio, follow her on Twitter at @makenziepokeefe or email her your story ideas.