By Gary Hardie
DC Public School educators have not had a new contract since 2012. Five years later, the Washington Teachers Union has successfully negotiated a new contract which includes a salary increase for more than 4,000 educators.
“Since 2007, the District of Columbia has blazed a trail to better schools – investing more resources in our classrooms, adding exciting new programs for our students at all levels, and pouring billions of dollars into our school buildings. Yet, for too long, our teachers have not been shown the appreciation nor presented the compensation they deserve. But with this agreement, together we will give our teachers their proper due and send a clear signal that we are all in for kids,” said Mayor Bowser.
“I know a great teacher can change the trajectory of a student’s life, and the teachers at DC Public Schools work each and every day to change the lives of all our students,” says Chancellor Wilson. “Our teachers ensure students are challenged academically, experience the joy of learning, and reach new altitudes.”
Under the proposed contract, educators will receive:
* Salary increases, including a 4 percent retroactive increase in Fiscal Year 2017, a 3 percent increase in Fiscal Year 2018, and a 2 percent increase in the fiscal year 2019;
* Additional benefits; and
* Structured collaborative engagement between DCPS and the WTU on various issues, including extended-year schools.
“We make better decisions when teachers are part of the process, and it is important that teachers feel valued every day as they work in service of young people,” says WTU President Elizabeth Davis. “I look forward to continuing to work with Chancellor Wilson on behalf of our teachers.”
DC public schools serve 50,000 students across 115 schools where its teachers are among some of the highest paid. At $53,000, first-year teachers in DC Public Schools are the highest paid in the country. The themes of this new agreement are rooted in creating a positive work environment, opportunities for growth, and compensation that is meant to retain teachers.
The agreement with WTU is tentative pending approval by the collective bargaining unit which is set to take place within 14 days.