Five-Year Contract Gives Denver Teachers $1,400 Pay Bump

<p>(Photo: CPR)</p>
<p>East High School in Denver</p>
Photo: Denver East High School
East High School in Denver

The Denver public school district and its teachers union agreed Friday morning to a five-year contract that would give a $1,400 increase to teachers’ base pay.

If approved by the Board of Education, the 5 percent increase to teachers’ compensation will take effect in the 2017-2018 school year. The following year, teachers will also see a $1,200 medical subsidy and an additional planning day, according to a Denver Public Schools press release.

The contract decision was made after months of negotiations. The union had originally asked for more than twice the given pay increase - citing the rapidly rising cost of living in Denver.

Both sides agreed to a joint task force to review best practices on "whole child” classroom supports. This would include mandatory recess, fresh fruits and vegetables and a mental health professional in every school.

A big win for the union is a joint committee to review the teacher evaluation system.

“Thanks to the strength of DPS parents, teachers and SSPs, we were able to get to an agreement that furthers our commitment to creating the schools Denver students deserve,” Henry Roman, the president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association said in a press release. “We look forward to further collaboration with the district on these important issues.”

The new contract must be approved by the Board of Education and the district's teachers.