Monday, May 09, 2005

Janey's plan hinges on union contract talks

The success of DCPS Superintendent Janey's new ambitious plan for schools largely rests on his ability to renegotiate DCPS's contract with the Washington Teachers' Union.
Compensation, a longer school year and linking pay to performance have emerged as key issues in the talks, which remain unresolved more than seven months after the previous contract expired. The negotiations began in November.

Neither side would disclose its bargaining position on salary last week. But union officials have said they expect a significant pay increase given the demands of adapting to a completely new academic program. Schools officials, on the other hand, have noted that there is no money in next year's budget to pay for step increases required under the old contract, let alone raises in a new contract.

The school board asked the D.C. Council last month for an additional $40 million to cover both sets of raises.
In SY2003 DC, when ranked against states, had the fifth highest average teacher salary and the third highest starting teacher salary.

UPDATE: Marc Borbely has more on teachers' salaries in the comment section.

1 comment:

Marc Borbely said...

DCPS generally has to compete with neighboring districts, not with districts nationwide.

According to the budget document DCPS submitted to the Council a few weeks ago, for FY06 (see page 40, with accompanying chart): "Historically, DCPS teacher salaries lagged far behind suburban salaries during the mid-90s. Recent collective bargaining contracts have neutralized salary differences for enterting teachers to aid in recruitment placing DCPS in a more competitive position for attracting new teachers. However, experienced teacher salaries still lag far behind suburban salaries earning approximately $9,400 less annually."

That's more than a 10% difference in salaries. DCPS loses experienced teachers to the suburbs, in part because of the significant salary gap.

Teaching (especially in D.C.) is very, very hard. If we want to hire and keep quality teachers, we should be paying them a lot more.

- Marc Borbely