Education A National Roundup

Denver Teachers Vote to Approve New Contract

By Bess Keller — May 10, 2005 1 min read

Denver teachers have overwhelmingly approved a new contract that gives them back a rung on the salary ladder that they lost in a budget crunch two years ago.

In a May 1 vote, almost three-quarters of the nearly 2,400 teachers casting ballots endorsed the hard-fought pact, which the school board ratified four days later.

The three-year contract is expected to ensure labor peace as the 70,000-student district prepares to ask the city’s voters in November to back a property-tax increase that would finance a new, nationally watched pay plan for teachers.

The agreement provides for raises of half a percent to 9.9 percent next year, depending on teachers’ levels of education and experience. It also gives teachers a greater voice in professional development and school improvement, while sparing them up to 30 minutes a week of meetings called by administrators.

All told, the district will spend 6.5 percent more on teachers’ compensation, including retirement costs, under the new contract.