Jefferson County Education Association and Jefferson County Public Schools Reach a Tentative Agreement

Posted on: May 20, 2024
Posted By: Christine Wiggins
Posted in: Press

MEDIA RELEASE
May 20, 2024
Contact: Christine Wiggins, cwiggins@coloradoea.org
For Immediate Release 

Jefferson County Education Association and Jefferson County Public Schools Reach a Tentative Agreement 

Agreement reached prior to contract expiration

Jefferson County, CO –  Educators in Jefferson County have reached a tentative agreement with Jeffco School District during their final negotiations session. The marathon bargaining session began Thursday the 16th and went until 2:30 am Friday morning. The tentative agreement is pending final ratification by JCEA members and the Board of Education.

“Over the past two years, we have seen our legislature make a historic investment in education and finally end the BS Factor” said Brooke Williams, art teacher and JCEA President. “Though this may mark the end of the long running IOU impacting school funding, Colorado is still a long way from fully funding education, and that has harmed our ability to give our students the best educational experiences and pay our educators a living wage. While we continue to advocate for funding for our students, we need Jeffco Public Schools to continue to invest funding into its employees. They took a step in the right direction this year by committing to take some funding out of its $211 million dollar reserves for a one time employee payment, we know one time stipends won’t retain our educators.”

Some of the highlights of the agreement include:

  • A 5% COLA, steps, and lanes, and one time 2% payment the district will pay educators from reserves .
  • Annual stipends for educators in Dual Language schools and Special Education.
  • The District will offer employee only coverage at no cost to educators for three different health plans. 
  • Special Education caseload guidelines and additional planning time. 
  • Fourteen district-wide non-contact days.

While educators are happy that they were able to reach an agreement with the District before the contract expired July 31, they are concerned that the District will not negotiate in good faith with their sister union the Jefferson County Education Support Professionals Association (JESPA), which is the union of 3,800 education support professionals. 

“The District hired an outside lawyer, Brent Case, to sit at their negotiations table with JESPA, who stalled their bargaining process and forced JESPA to declare impasse.” said Michelle Moehlis, Spanish teacher, and negotiations chair. “We hear that the district claims to value employees, but when they hire a lawyer and pay him thousands of dollars to sit at the bargaining table and reject proposals, the actions do not match the words. The bargaining process this year has not made our education support professionals feel valued and we believe that the money would have been better invested in employees and students. The best thing Jeffco Public Schools could do now to show they value our education support professionals is come back to the bargaining table with JESPA and negotiate in good faith ”

The JCEA ratification vote is anticipated to take place May 21 – 24. 

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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.

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