2024 Tenative Agreement!

Posted on: May 17, 2024
Posted By: Christine Wiggins
Posted in: Bargaining | Insight
Members and bargaining team at the final negotiations session.

After nearly 10 hours at the bargaining table last night (and into the wee hours of the morning), we have a tentative agreement with the district. Wins and highlights of the tentative agreements and compensation are summarized below. 

Before we dive into all the details, your JCEA bargaining team and leadership wants to highlight that our membership showed up in force last night AND several people even stuck it out to the bitter end at 2:30am! Over the course of this year’s negotiations sessions you all wrote hundreds of letters to the school board, came and rallied with our JESPA union siblings, and had nearly 500 people show up in person to our negotiations sessions. This tentative agreement reflects every action taken by you, the members of JCEA, and these actions helped us get this package over the line last night. Great work!

All tentative agreements are linked on our bargaining page on the JCEA website, and below you will find the summary of changes (remember: the reading the CliffsNotes is not a substitute for reading the whole novel! This is not an exhaustive list of all changes so be sure you read the proposals on our website for all details): 

  • Articles 1: Definitions, 3: Association Relationship, and 4: Negotiations Procedures will improve our protections on the educator bargaining unit and will continue to protect our power to negotiate salaries and the conditions of employment every year until the new agreement expires in 2028.
  • Article 5: Time Management increases the number of non-contact days to 14, with 60% of the time reserved for individual planning time on PD days, and 300 minutes/ week for special education planning time. 
  • Article 6: Professional Learning ensures the district provides adequate training when they adopt new curriculum and expands the use of professional growth funds beyond attending conferences to include other professional learning opportunities and 2 sub days. 
  • Article 8: Class Size/ Caseload eliminates guideline language in regards to elementary class sizes and improves class size relief language to consider factors such as, students served by an IEP or 504, multilingual learners (MLL), etc. Other wins include ensuring all Title I schools have a full time Instructional Coach in the 2025-26 school year and ensuring collaboration occurs at the secondary level for educator class size and if administration is considering exceeding more than 3 preparations in a semester/trimester.
  • Article 9: Student Discipline and Educator Assistance moves to a district Prevention & Intervention Manual to help bring more consistent student behavior expectations across the district. The Manual will be reviewed annually with a committee of educators and administrators representing all levels. Schools will be responsible for selecting and implementing tiered prevention, intervention and disciplinary strategies from the District P&I Manual.
  • Article 10: Collaboration will ensure that you are included in the decision making process if a school collaborative committee is making a decision that will directly impact your job.
  • Article 11: Academic Freedom provides teachers the agency to customize their lessons and supplement resources in order for students to attain mastery of grade level expectations/standards.
  • Article 12: Hiring, Staffing and Displacement will allow educators to apply and be considered for another job during the school year. 
  • Article 13: Leaves will create a committee that will work on exploring the move from the current sick and personal leave system to a general leave system. This TA also creates new safe leave available to educators who may be victims of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault/abuse, new bereavement leave which does not require you to use your sick/ personal leave after an immediate family member’s death, and improves parental leave language. 
  • Article 15: Temporary Contracts shifts the practice to make the positions, not contracts, temporary. 
  • Article 16: Variances maintains what is working well in the variance process and makes slight adjustments to improve practices. 
  • Article 17: Compensation structures and Appendix A: Salary Schedule includes: Steps, lanes, and a 5% COLA applied to the whole salary schedule (this linked schedule is a draft and needs to be verified with the district), 2% one-time stipend for all educators, 191-day contract for instructional coaches, implementation of a new salary schedule for Activities Sponsors & Coaches, and stipends for special education and dual language educators. Note: the district said the stipends would be paid from their bloated reserves! This is a huge acknowledgement of what we have been telling them regarding the district finances for years and invests their “rainy day fund” on you, our educators!
  • Articles 19: Grievances and 20: Professional Behavior and Discipline clean up the grievance language,  remove all Letters of Direction received prior to the 24-25 school year from the educator’s building file, and clearly define various steps in progressive discipline. 
  • Article 22: Equity provides protective language for our LGBTQIA+ and other educators with protected status.
  • Article 23: Remote/ Virtual Instruction ensures educators are not required to deliver remote and in person instruction simultaneously, and increases educator voice and collaboration at JVA and JRLP. 
  • Article 24: Elementary Art, Music, and PE improves collaboration for AMP educators, the process for bringing in a fourth content-area in the AMP rotation, and protects the workload of AMP educators in K-8 schools. 
  • Article 25: Nurses improves language for nurses when they are asked to cover and the incorporation of the Health Services Acuity Metric Tool in order to alleviate Nurse workload issues. 
  • Article 26: Special Education brings the current allocation and caseload practices in the contract. Over 24-25 the collaborative committee will study caseloads and bring to negotiations by Feb 1, 2025. SPED educators will also automatically get paid for 3 additional work days at their per diem rate and will not need to go through a cumbersome request process. 
  • Appendix B: Activities Sponsor and Coach Stipends creates a new  Salary Schedule proposal language based on the recommendation of the work group. 
  • Appendix C: Health Benefits requires the District to offer employee only coverage at no cost to educators enrolled in the following plans next year: Kaiser HDHP $2,500, Kaiser HDHP $4,000, Aetna HDHP $4,000. The District will provide $640 per month per enrolled employee (or employee + spouse or + family) in the remaining plans not listed previously. All qualifying HDHP with HSAs will receive an employer contribution of $80/ mo. 
  • Appendix D: Sick Leave Bank will not require employees who opt in to donate a day of sick leave unless the bank drops below 12,000 hours total. 

Whew! That was a lot! Be sure to read more on the bargaining page on the JCEA website over the weekend. The JCEA ratification vote is anticipated to take place May 21 – 24 so please watch your email for next steps. 

The wins in this tentative agreement were achieved only due to the members who showed up, drafted contract language, spoke at the table, and wrote members of the School Board and Jeffco management. While we did make big gains, we certainly did not win everything we came to the table to improve. If you want to continue to organize around the issues that will make our district a better place for employees and students, email cwiggins@coloradoea.org

And PS – the District just released a benefits survey from your Benefits Advisory Committee. It’s crucial you make your voice heard to improve health benefits, so check your messages from the District and take the survey today!

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