Teachers OK initial agreement with district

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By Daniel Laverty

Members of the teachers union have overwhelmingly approved a contract agreement reached May 8 with the school district’s bargaining team, but teachers voted on a version of the pact that did not include a later addition from the district.

Just hours after bargaining teams reached the original agreement, the district added the stipulation that non-probationary teachers rated as not effective or partially effective would not be eligible for raises.

The Jeffco Education Association had sent the original version of the pact to its members. It’s unknown how the board might vote on the teacher-approved version that lacks its addition. 

JCEA members clearly liked the original version of the agreement and demonstrated that with a resounding yes vote.

“We had 88 percent of our members say ‘yes,’ ” JCEA President Ami Prichard said. 

The agreement includes:

• An average 2.5 percent increase in salary for teachers rated “effective” or “highly effective” in their evaluations.

• An increase in pay for new teachers.

• No increase in employee health-care premiums for the next school year.

• Class sizes remaining the same.

• An agreement to work on a new compensation plan for the next contract

The next step would be for the school board to vote the teacher-approved original agreement. If approved, the terms would be in effect from July 1, 2014, until Aug. 31, 2015, which is when the current contract expires.

Amy Weber, Jeffco Public Schools’ director of human resources, said the board had yet to receive notice of the JCEA’s vote as of Friday. The school board has yet to schedule a meeting to vote on the agreement.

“We haven’t been given any indication of how things will turn out,” Prichard said. “The majority of our members said they would like the board to join us in this agreement.”

Contract negotiations between the district and the teachers union were held in public this year for the first time. The teachers union declared an impasse last month, and negotiations were moved behind closed doors for third-party mediation.