Denver teachers to get at least 2.6% increase on average in 2016

Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Nicholas Garcia on June 15, 2016

Denver teachers will see a 2.6 percent pay bump on average under the district’s latest agreement with the teachers union.

State law requires Colorado districts to reassess teacher pay annually. This year’s deal adds $7.6 million in compensation, for a 2.61 percent average raise for most educators.

Teachers who are part of ProComp, Denver’s (complicated) merit pay program, will get a 1 percent bump in their base pay and be eligible for additional raises depending on their performance.

Teachers could see their pay increase even more, by an additional 1.1 percent, if voters sign off on a school funding package in November.

The average raise figure could mask wide disparities in the actual pay increases that individual teachers will get. Union officials suggested that teachers who are part of ProComp are likely to receive the bulk of the raises and one-time bonuses based on a variety of factors such as their 2015-16 evaluation.

“Our teachers won’t feel like it’s a pay bump,” said Pam Shamburg, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association’s executive director.

DPS’s Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova said in a statement that the raises were possible because the district is trimming 157 central-office positions — a move that is reducing the ranks of employees charged with helping teachers improve.

“After years of flat state funding, we are continuously challenged to pay our teachers as much as they deserve for their incredible work,” Cordova said. “Combined with the compensation packages from previous years, we are staying competitive with other urban districts in Colorado.”

This year’s raise is smaller than last year’s and, for teachers who are part of ProComp, earlier. Denver educators got a 6.12 percent average raise over the last school year, according to the district. You can see details of the compensation updates here.

The district and unions current contract expires Aug. 31, 2017. The ProComp agreement runs out Dec. 31, 2017.

— Chalkbeat managing editor Philissa Cramer contributed. 

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

Photo credit: M. Piscotty


  1. The district is laying off secretaries and clerical employees while it continues to support the highest number of administrators in the state. These administrators in addition to top salaries, receive compensation bonuses for doing their jobs. Meanwhile teachers and support staff suffer with poor wages and a district more interested in corrective action than keeping good, dedicated employees. Dig and little and you will find lots of issues with this district including union busting behaviors and a love affair with Charter schools.

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