Association News

Bargaining WINS and More Work to Do

Sep 23, 2016
The bargaining team and NAAT have celebrations from last year, but also lots of work left to do.

Celebrations:

  1. We have a new five-year agreement with reopeners for salary and two items of our choice each year.
  2. We are back on a salary schedule with a path forward for lane movement for masters’ degrees and graduate hours.
  3. Although raises were insufficient, we did bargain increased compensation for everyone, and more money was directed into compensation than the District originally offered.
  4. We increased the ability to appeal evaluation ratings.
  5. We have a contractual right to be at new teacher induction to welcome new educators and invite them to join the Association.
  6. If we reach impasse during bargaining in the future, our contract will remain in effect while we continue to reach agreement.
But we have more to do.

  1. We will be negotiating with the District this fall for salary increases for master’s degrees and beyond. We will also discuss a National Board Certified teacher stipend.
  2. Goal #1 for bargaining is salary, but the District needs more resources for any significant improvements. We know, and they know, that we are not competitive. Passing the mill/bond will be critical to having additional resources.
  3. The JCEA board has set a goal to improve the evaluation system. We will be working with the District in the 1338 evaluation committee, and will reflect improvements in the negotiated agreement.
As a team we strive to be responsive to the needs of our members. Meeting the needs of such a wide and diverse constituency can be difficult, especially considering we all have to focus on our primary job, teaching our own students.

In an effort to increase the efficacy of bargaining and bring more voices to the planning process, NAAT seeks to expand its capacity and support the strategic goals of JCEA and its members.

We want to establish 3 NAAT focus committees to assist, and if need be join, the negotiations team at the table and provide knowledge and expertise to strengthen our positions. One committee will provide input and expertise about compensation, including bargaining positions, budgeting and accounting.

The second committee will provide guidance on evaluation so that JCEA has a strong voice in creating an evaluation system that is fair, reliable and provides actual guidance for teacher growth. Evaluation ratings of effective or above are required for step movement, and determine the attainment or loss of non-probationary status.

Finally we need a committee that not only consists of members but community allies so that any collectively bargained agreement will have the support of the community, with or without a successful mill and bond campaign. We need volunteers for each of those committees, and if you can meet 1-2 a month, we encourage you to contact Lisa Elliott, staff liaison for bargaining at the JCEA offices. (lelliott@coloradoea.org)