Denver Public Schools, teachers union reach agree to raise educator pay

After bargaining through the night, Denver Public Schools and the district’s teachers union tentatively reached an agreement Thursday morning to increase educators’ salaries by an average of 8.7%.

The deal was reached after several weeks of negotiating over higher wages, including an all-night bargaining session that ran through Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

“The last several weeks of negotiations have been challenging,” said Superintendent Alex Marrero in a letter to parents, adding, “Our shared mission as educators prevailed. That shared commitment to our scholars has been heightened due to the pandemic.”

The district’s previous contract with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, which was struck following the 2019 strike, expired Wednesday. The union had originally asked for a 12% raise for educators for the 2022-23 academic year, noting the rising cost-of-living in the metro area.

Under the tentative agreement, which still needs to be ratified by the union’s membership, DPS will raise starting salaries for teachers from $45,800 to $50,130, according to a news release.

Educators will also have “protected, non-classroom time,” including a daily 45-minute duty-free lunch and at least 300 minutes of planning time per week for elementary teachers. Teachers in secondary schools will get 345 minutes per week, according to the district.

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