May 18, 2023
Contact: Christine Wiggins, email@example.com
For Immediate Release
Jefferson County Education Association and Jefferson County Public Schools Reach a Tentative Agreement
Educators advocate for stability for their students
Jefferson County, CO – Educators in Jefferson County have reached a tentative agreement with Jeffco School District after a marathon bargaining session that lasted over seven and a half hours. The tentative agreement is pending final ratification by JCEA members and the Board of Education.
“Our goal is always to ensure we can keep the best educators in Jeffco to serve our students,” said Brooke Williams, art teacher and JCEA President. “Though we were hopeful to secure a deal that would keep our district more competitive among others in the Denver metro area, we are not done fighting for the competitive compensation loyal educators deserve. We made it clear to our district that they need to reward our educators with the most experience, and we desperately need Jeffco to commit to invest new funding into its employees.”
Some of the highlights of the agreement include:
- A 5.25% COLA, steps, and lanes.
- An increased investment to the stipend for educators who work in Title I schools, from 1% to 2%.
- A class size relief fund for classes that exceed the contractual guidelines. This will allow the district to provide paraeducator support or hire another teacher when students are in classes that are larger than best practice.
- The expansion of non-contact days for planning time to include middle school educators.
- Additional stipends for Career and Technical Education and Elementary Art and Music teachers.
This year’s bargaining session was collaborative when it came to discussions about contract language that would provide educators with more voice in school based decision making, increased plan time, and support to ensure student class size was protected, but things slowed down when the conversation became financial. The district made their first compensation proposal on April 26 and did not make a financial counter until yesterday’s session.
“As a district, our number one charge is giving high quality educational experiences to our students and that happens when our educators feel valued and respected.” said Michelle Moehlis, Spanish teacher, and negotiations chair. “Our kids have had a lot of change and uncertainty in the past few years, and we are trying to keep their beloved educators in this profession and in Jeffco. We know this year our legislators made a historic investment into education, but ultimately, across this state our students’ have been robbed of funding for over a decade. Education funding in Colorado is not sustainable, and we need a permanent fix to this broken system.”
The JCEA ratification vote is anticipated to take place May 22 – 26.
The Jefferson County Education Association is the union for over 5,000 educators in Jeffco Schools, working together to ensure all students in Jeffco have safe, equitable, and thriving public schools. JCEA works collectively with our entire community to advocate for fully funded schools to ensure education is a profession that allows educators to work and live in the communities they serve. Follow JCEA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.