The Jeffco teachers union, JCEA, is still working to negotiate a salary arrangement as part of its Collective Bargaining Agreement with Jeffco Public Schools. At the union’s recent bargaining …
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The Jeffco teachers union, JCEA, is still working to negotiate a salary arrangement as part of its Collective Bargaining Agreement with Jeffco Public Schools.
At the union’s recent bargaining session with the district on Aug. 5, the two parties did not come to a final agreement but each gave the other a most recent offer to consider in preparation for the next bargaining session.
In light of the financial consequences of COVID-19 — which district chief financial officer said may not be felt this year because of government aid, but could likely leave the district with more than $40 million in cuts to make for 2021-2022 — the district has held it is unable to give teachers the increase in compensations that were discussed previously in the year. Prior to the hits state funding for schools took due to the coronavirus, Board of Education members had a preliminary discussion about a potential $17 million, approximately, going toward teacher compensation this year.
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Teachers have adjusted their asks since the pandemic began and are now requesting a 1% raise for each educator, as well as a step increase, related to how many years of experience a teacher has, for the educators who have applied for the increase this year. Similarly, the teachers asked for level increases, related to levels of higher education achieved by a teacher, such when an educator earns a master’s degree.
Another primary request of the union was for the district bargaining team to schedule a future meeting for the district if finances change and Jeffco comes into $5 million or more in the coming months. They would like the same to be true if Jeffco experiences a decrease in funding and asked the district to specify the amount in decrease that would bring them back to the bargaining table.
In response, the district gave its offer, saying it would be willing to return to the bargaining table at a later date but only for a $10 million increase or decrease in funding, not the $5 million the teachers requested. The district agreed to a 1% raise for educators; agreed to level increases but not step increases; and requested all teachers take one day without work but with pay.
“We really, really, really need steps, but we are going to consult our members,” JCEA bargaining chair Christy Yacano said in response. “We will be in touch with our members and then we’ll be ready to come back to the table, hopefully soon.”
As of Aug. 6, the district and union had not yet set a future bargaining date.
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