DENVER — Denver teachers celebrated a week of accomplishments Friday night. Members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, the teacher’s union, gathered for a rally at City Park.
“I know for all of you this is one of the most difficult things you have ever done in your professional careers,” said DCTA President Henry Roman to the crowd. “We have sacrificed so much to make this happen, and ‘thank you’ seems like such a small phrase to express my heartfelt gratitude.”
Roman and other DCTA leaders also thanked community members, students, parents and other unions for their support during the strike, which started Monday and ended when negotiators from both sides reached a tentative agreement early Thursday morning.
Next, the full union membership will have to ratify the contract. DCTA expects a vote will likely be held within the next week. Finally, the DPS Board of Education must vote to finalize the agreement.
Friday morning, Roman joined Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova on 9NEWS to talk about the agreement and finding common ground.
“At the end of the day, we reached an agreement that is good for our students, definitely for our teachers, our parents and our community at large,” Roman said.
“We spent a lot of time working really hard to make sure that we understood what was truly most important to each other,” Cordova added.
As part of the deal, teachers will see an increase to their base salaries and as well as a simpler compensation system. The school district fought to keep incentives for teachers working in high poverty schools and tough-to-fill positions.
To help fund the investment for teachers, district leaders committed to cutting jobs at the central office. Cordova is not ready to publicly discuss the details or timing of those cuts but said her team is thoughtfully going through all departments as they make decisions.
“We have terrific people who work in our central office,” she said Friday night. “It’s never easy to cut, so we’re making sure when we do cut that they’re the most judicious cuts that we can so that we can use our funds to both support our teachers and schools and invest in the work that we think will have the biggest outcomes for our students.”
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