Update on Jeffco Teacher Negotiations

Unfortunately, the climate surrounding Jeffco Schools is very political, which makes it hard to find the facts. The message below was emailed by the district to employees today and we believe that the public needs to hear these facts. Below is an update on the negotiations between the Board of Education and JCEA (Jefferson County Education Association).

We are excited that the Board is considering increasing compensation for teachers who are effective. Our teachers deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.

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The Facts

As members of the district negotiating team, we feel compelled to speak directly to Jeffco teachers with a clear message. You deserve the facts as you consider these issues.

JCEA leadership knew Thursday night, May 8, that the tentative agreement they are encouraging you to ratify will not be approved by members of the Board of Education. There is no obligation from the board to vote ‘yes’ simply because the district team signed the tentative agreement. It is common in the negotiations process to revise and modify a tentative agreement to ensure the deal is ratified and then passed by the board.

Both teams left mediation on Thursday night with a clear understanding that until the district team was able to line up a successful Board of Education vote, that our teams were not done with their work. The JCEA leadership has chosen to not honor that understanding by taking a tentative agreement to ratification.

JCEA leadership is potentially jeopardizing step increases for the vast majority of teachers who are rated effective or highly effective by asking you to ratify an agreement that will not be approved by members of the Board of Education.

There is one item in the agreement that we need to resolve; that item is providing salary increases toonly those teachers who are effective with students. That should be a shared commitment to our public. The district believes it is important to differentiate in terms of compensation between the vast majority of teachers who are rated effective and the small number of teachers who haven’t met that standard.

Please know that between the two teams, the overall dollars committed to all employees’ compensation is approximately $17 million. This is a significant increase over the initial placeholder of $11.7 million. This is an agreement that honors your hard work.

Thank you,
Amy Weber, Executive Director of Human Resources and lead district negotiator
Lorie Gillis, Chief Financial Officer and member of district negotiating team

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