Jan. 15, 2019
DENVER – Four of five Denver residents say they support Denver teachers in their contentious salary negotiations with Denver Public Schools, according to a new survey of about 600 randomly selected community members.
Live telephone interviews held Jan. 7-10 with 603 likely Denver voters show 79% of respondents agree that teacher pay in Denver falls short of what it ought to be. With the ‘ProComp’ compensation system set to expire this Friday (Jan. 18), 82% of voters say they would support teachers if the Denver Classroom Teacher Association and DPS cannot reach a new agreement this week. When asked about a possible strike, 62% are in favor of Denver teachers going on strike this month until they can reach agreement with the DPS Board over pay levels.
The parents of DPS students who took part in the survey demonstrated even stronger support for the teachers on these questions, shown in the following pie charts:
Additionally, 74% of respondents held a positive view of Denver teachers, whereas only 33% reported a positive view of the DPS Board. Nearly half of the respondents want the board to take a real change of direction.
DCTA has been negotiating with the district for more than a year to improve compensation and address Denver’s teacher turnover crisis. Teachers are dissatisfied working under a salary system that restricts base pay in favor of awarding one-time incentives and bonuses that most district employees find very unreliable and unpredictable.
“Educators want to plan for their future, whether to start a family or buy a home. Denver teachers cannot make these decisions if they don’t know how much salary they’re making from year-to-year. Teachers become frustrated and many leave – this is why DPS has such an extremely high teacher turnover rate,” said DCTA President Henry Roman. “Our students deserve the best teachers DPS can offer, and right now, the district is not doing enough to keep quality teachers in our classrooms.”
The survey was conducted by Harstad Strategic Research, Inc., a national public opinion research firm based in Boulder. A random sample of 603 voters gives at least a 95% confidence level that any responses are within 4% (plus-or-minus) of the reported percentage.
“We need to keep our teachers in Denver. Our teachers deserve fair wages, and this poll shows the community wants the district to provide a competitive salary schedule that prioritizes keeping quality teachers in Denver,” Roman observed. “We are committed to reaching a fair contract with DPS through the negotiation process this week, but should this matter go unresolved and result in a strike, Denver teachers are confident the community will support its teachers and will demand the district pay all educators a professional wage.”
The next public bargaining session between DCTA and DPS is happening today (Jan. 15) at 1617 S. Acoma St. starting at 9:00 a.m. Media may request a two-page summary prepared by the pollster by contacting Mike Wetzel at CEA Communications.
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