Board Balks at Jeffco Teachers’ Union Contract

June 6, 2014
By

Teachers and parents line-up to attend contentious Jeffco meeting.

Teachers and parents line-up to attend contentious Jeffco meeting.

GOLDEN — The Jefferson County School Board rejected a tentative contract agreement with the teacher’s union in a 3-2 vote Thursday night because it failed to contain specific language about teacher performance and salaries.

Teachers with a “partially effective” evaluation rating could essentially have the same pay raise rate as those with “effective” or “highly effective” ratings.

Sheila Atwell, executive director of Jeffco Students First, said the tentative contract “gives raises to teachers that are less than effective, which is exactly contrary to the goal of supporting an effective teacher in front of each classroom.”

Some teachers ranked higher on the evaluation scale could even be overlooked for pay raises, a factor that contributed to the vote against accepting the agreement.

“I would not like to see any teacher left out,” Atwell said. “We would be in favor of pay raises that reward every single teacher that is rated effective.”

One parent who is also a retired teacher said approving the union contract “would show our joint commitment to doing the right thing for Jeffco children.”

“It’s not a perfect contract for either party; few are,” the parent said.

The tentative agreement was originally accepted by 88 percent of the Jefferson County Education Association members who voted on May 16, but all parties must now return to the negotiating table. The current contract expires in August 2015.

The main topic of the agenda was expected to be the salary particulars of incoming superintendent Daniel McMinimee, which teacher union members and some parents argued was too high. That was quickly over-shadowed by the renewal of the teachers union contract.

Two audience members were escorted from the room by security officers for disruptive behavior, but the divided tone was set more than an hour before the meeting in an outdoor rally of teachers, parents, community members, and union as well as board supporters.

The board voted 3-2 to approve McMinimee’s base salary of $220,000, plus $20,000 in retirement benefits and the opportunity to earn an additional $40,000 in performance pay.

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2 Responses to Board Balks at Jeffco Teachers’ Union Contract

  1. Regan Benson
    June 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Excellent article and very on point. Next discussion…how many thousands of kids are still sitting in front of teachers evaluated as “ineffective”?

  2. Pete1951
    June 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    One parent who is also a retired teacher said approving the union contract “would show our joint commitment to doing the right thing for Jeffco children.”

    Perhaps the best thing for Jeffco taxpayers is to dump, not reward, ineffective teachers. I would have much more respect for employee unions if they would take out their trash instead of working in it.

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