3/4/22 – Bargaining update, JCEA scholarships and awards

All member important dates:

JCEA 2022 Collective Bargaining session #3 – Thursday, March 10th @ 4:30 pm IN-PERSON and online. RSVP and invite fellow JCEA members with this event link: https://fb.me/e/4Wp3C3RBO

Recap from bargaining this week

Our bargaining session on Wednesday, March 2 had a much more positive tone than our first meeting. Next session is March 10 when we hope to make progress on workload and planning time issues, and perhaps finish up Article 11, Academic Freedom to allow departing educators to take the materials they have created out of google drives easily and quickly much like students do when they graduate. At this time each individual document has to be downloaded which is incredibly time consuming.

Please join us online or in person next Thursday to support your team and our collective goals.

Below is the joint statement that was released from the teams.

Joint statement 03/02/2022

Joint Statement: 

Wednesday, March 2, the District and the JCEA bargaining team met to discuss the following substantive topics:

Benefits Overview

Benefits plan designs and increase amounts were reviewed and discussed, with recommendations from the Benefits Advisory Committee shared. At this time, no benefit increases are finalized or accepted.

Historical view provided – average employee cost has decreased $3,173 in 19-20 to $2,696 in 21-22.

Dental – no changes to plans or premiums

Vision – no changes to plan or premiums

Life & Disability – 6.9% rate increase (this is a district-funded, no employee contribution benefit)

Medical – TBD


Medical Plan Models

Aetna – 15% increase > negotiated with insurance provider to 11% with plan changes

Option 1: renew as-is 

Option 2 (recommended by committee): renew with changes including deductible increases

Kaiser – 10% increase > negotiated with insurance provider to 7% with plan changes

Option 1: renew as-is 

Option 2 (recommended by committee): renew with changes including deductible increases

Medical Contribution Strategy (currently $529 per full time employee per month)

The committee has considered and modeled out variable contributions (single coverage vs. coverage with dependent(s)).


Special Education Workgroup (Article 26) – The work group is planning to continue meeting and working together to discuss additional solutions and shared interests. Special Education funding will be discussed in Article 26’s Collaborative Committee meeting, next week. However, the Special Education small group will look at dates to meet and discuss a list of options to bring to the table at a future meeting.


Per Article 26, a collaborative committee has been established to include special education district personnel and special educators across Jeffco and began meeting in January this year.


Concerns regarding workload beyond the 40-hour work week, safety for both students and staff, and mental health provider workloads were discussed by the workgroup.


Shared interests include, but are not limited to: setting up schools to succeed, adequate support for teachers, long-term solutions to many of the concerns (i.e. current ratios = 25:1 HS & 20:1 ES/MS), increased mental health supports.


A district negotiations team member shared that it is essential to receive allocations for special education staff prior to closing the initial budget window.  Matt Palaoro, Exec. Director of Special Education shared that basing allocations on the December 1 count did not accurately reflect enrollment changes that occur in the choice window.  Additional factors are also being reviewed related to the needs of schools and students.


WT and CTE structures (Article 17) – Goals were shared including: horizontal lane on the pay scale, compensation for extracurricular activities and compensation for concurrent enrollment. Previously the differences in experience and how education/experience is gained by CTE teachers has not been reflected in the salary schedule. CTSO extracurricular activities are required, but staff sponsors are not currently compensated. $100 per night is proposed which would be similar to what OELS teachers are compensated per night. An additional proposal would be for NTHS sponsors with 200+ students to be added to appendix B, which would include a stipend similar to that of a coach. A final proposal was presented to compensate teachers for concurrent enrollment by repurposing 1% of the kick-back of the 5% coming to schools from Red Rocks CC to provide a stipend to the teacher and counselor.


Conversations will continue related to secondary instructional hours and WT/CTE.


General Compensation Structures (Article 17) – A JCEA team member shared that in comparison to some other school districts our teacher salary schedule has fewer lanes (horizontally) and is longer (vertically), which may result in taking more time to reach the maximum step in salary.  The following possibilities, along with pros and cons of each, were shared in consideration of modifying the salary schedule:

Collapsing the salary schedule from the bottom or the top.

Adding lane “2b,” BA +27 prior to MA

Adding lane 6, BA +90 (including MA)

Adding lane “7,” Doctorate (including MA)

Increasing creditable experience when entering into the district with prior experience.  Currently there is a limit of entering in at step 8.  

Hard to fill credit such as additional years of experience or a percentage of additional pay.

Longevity pay

Academic Freedom (Article 11) – Additional inquiry still needs to be completed with IT partners regarding the systems that need to be in place to allow file extraction. Student data privacy and ownership of documents also needs to be considered.


The agenda for March 10th, 2022 was set, which will include a presentation of an Article 17 compensation structures proposal, time for elementary/secondary workgroups related to Article 5, etc.


Every year, JCEA members honor remarkable educators and friends of public education across Jefferson County.  Some awards are intended for individual members while other awards allow for honoring an individual community member who supports public education in Colorado. 

One nomination is all it takes to shine a light on someone you admire who deserves recognition.

Nominations for our 2022 JCEA awards open Tuesday, March 1st 2022.

To learn more or to nominate someone you know is a doing outstanding work for our profession CLICK HERE!

The Jeffy award

This award honors members for their contributions to the profession through participation in both the Association and their position as an educator.

Nominees must be active JCEA members, contributing to the positive image of educators and maintaining activism and leadership in the Association over at least a five (5) year period. They must also display active leadership through an elected or appointed office in the Association.

The Lion award

The Lion Award honors a JCEA Member who consistently advocates for educator rights and stands up for the schools our students deserve.

They have a passion for human and civil rights of educators and students, and demonstrate a concern for the advancement of education.

The Leilani Tanner award 

Leilani Tanner, a teacher organizer in The Jefferson County Education Association, was a true champion for our students and public education. She passed away on September 27, 2018.

This award honors a JCEA member who embodies what it means to be a grassroots organizer, through the actions they have taken to increase capacity and build coalitions to protect public education.

The Diamond award

This award recognizes an Association member for outstanding service to education through collective bargaining. This person must have extensive involvement in bargaining and contractual advocacy.

The Super Jeffy award

This award honors members for their sustained involvement and participation in JCEA over a period of fifteen years. Nominees must be a previous Jeffey Award winner and must show evidence of continued teacher advocacy and dedication to the teaching profession

JCEA friend of education award

The Friend of Education Award honors an individual who has contributed to and supports public education in Jefferson County. Past recipients include local elected officials and community partners.

The Robert R. Hawkins award

Robert Hawkins, a Jefferson County Education Association Board Member and an educator-advocate in JCEA, was a true champion for our students and all public educators.


Robert fought hard to change inequities, institutional racism, and hiring practices within Jeffco Public Schools. As chair of EMOAT, in November 2020, Robert spearheaded the writing of a historical educator and student of color equity article to be introduced in the proposed educator contract in February 2021. In September 2021 Article 22 was the first Equity and Inclusivity Article to ever be included in a teacher contract in the state of Colorado. Unfortunately, Robert passed away February 21, 2021 and was unable to see his dedication and hard work come to fruition. He will forever be missed by those he impacted as an educator and association leader.


JCEA annually grants an award and honors JCEA members striving to improve, change, educate, and fight for social and racial justice in Jefferson County. This award is intended for educators who are grassroots organizers, lead professional development or education on inequities, anti-racism, and/or actions to fight for social and racial justice for Jeffco educators and students.


Following the Columbine tragedy in 1999, thousands of dollars poured into the JCEA office. Many of the contributions came from state and local associations, businesses, individual teachers and concerned citizens across the nation.

Often those who wanted to give arrived to us requesting something positive be done for Jeffco teachers in memory of Columbine teacher Dave Sanders.

In August of 1999, the JCEA Board of Directors responded by expanding and refocusing the former JCEA Christa McAuliffe Scholarship Fund, an educator and one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Our scholarship fund became a tax deductible charity (501C3 entity) and was renamed the JCEA Excellence Fund.

Today, the JCEA Excellence Fund is administered by the JCEA Excellence Fund Committee which consists of both Jeffco educators and community members.

JCEA members and members of our broader community help us keep these scholarships alive and funding students educational futures year after year. This year our goal is to raise over $6,000.00 for these scholarships.

Our first ask is that our AR’s and members participate this year in our “day of giving” OR if you don’t want to wait, you can donate and encourage friends and family to donate also anytime HERE.

Please watch for information via email and social media. We encourage all of our members and community supporters to share information about our scholarships on social media, pass out the flyers, and encourage friends and family to donate to this great cause that helps educators, future educators, and JeffCo students.

JCEA Excellence fund scholarships

This annually awarded scholarship goes to a Jefferson County high school senior entering college the following year to pursue a degree in education. Each scholarship granted is for $1000 per year and can be renewed for up to four years totaling $4,000 in funding.

Dave Sanders Quality Teaching Grant

Dave Sanders was a 25 year Columbine teacher and also coached girls basketball and softball. He is credited with saving the lives of hundreds on April 20th, 1999 when tragedy struck and he was killed with twelve students in one of the most shocking school shootings in American history.

Dave’s memory is honored in many different ways across Jeffco, including the annual award of two $500 grants for current Jefferson County educators striving to improve their professional practice.

Sue Anne Berger scholarship, Excellence fund

Sue Anne Berger was a certified chemistry and mathematics teacher in Jeffco. With her passing she established an annual scholarship be awarded to two graduating seniors in the Jeffco District, who intend to study the physical sciences or related fields.

Each scholarship granted starts with a $1,000 and is increased by $1000 each year, up to four years for a potential of $10,000 in funding.

Shermita West, Excellence Fund

Shermita West came to Jeffco in 1969 during the national civil rights movement. She served 30 years in Jeffco supporting students in the classroom and went on to become the first African American woman President of JCEA. Additionally she served on the board of the Jeffco Action Center and as a mentor to Robert Hawkins and the JCEA EMOAT team.

The Shermita West scholarship awards $1,000 per year, for up to four years, totaling $4,000. This fund is dedicated specifically for students of color pursuing a degree in education. In addition this student will receive job interviews in Jeffco Public Schools, a part of our ongoing work to encourage educators of color to join the Jeffco family.