However, the chess pieces are finally moving. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association came up with a counteroffer that now reduces the amount of money they were originally asking for in teacher pay. The union is hoping Denver Public Schools will accept it.
DPS and the teachers union squared off in another round of debate Thursday. The meeting was contentious at times.
“Who on this team suggested getting rid of ProComp?” one DCTA board member asked.
“It doesn’t say anybody on the bargaining team did,” said DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova.
The union is alleging someone from the DPS board was attempting to bargain about the deal behind closed doors.
“That’s illegal in the state of Colorado,” said lead negotiator for DCTA, Rob Gould.
“I 100 percent agree. No sidebar conversations,” Cordova said.
Here are where negotiations stand: the district previously proposed offering teachers $23 million in total pay, raising their base salary by 10 percent. The district has been waiting for the union to give them a counter proposal and that’s exactly what happened on Thursday. The DCTA reduced their asking price from $30 million to $28 million in teachers' base salary pay.
“The biggest issue now is probably the amount of money. They’ve been grossly under-funding the teachers for the last 10 years,” Gould said.
The union is still pushing for DPS to adopt their salary structure. Gould said they don’t want teachers to have to wait 10 years for a pay increase to kick in as they pursue a masters or PhD.
DPS asked for time to review the new proposal.
“We’ll take a look at how this works and try to figure out how we’d like to respond,” Cordova said.
Time will tell as to whether DPS accepts DCTA's new offer, rejects it or reveals a new counteroffer. There is very little time remaining. The current teacher salary contract expires midnight Friday. Friday is also the last day of negotiations before DCTA's planned strike vote Saturday.