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Mayor Bowser, DC Public Schools, and the Washington Teachers Union Announce New Contract

Monday, August 14, 2017
Contract Significantly Increases Compensation for More Than 4,000 Educators at DC Public Schools Who Have Been Without a Contract for Five Years

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Antwan Wilson, and Washington Teachers Union (WTU) President Elizabeth Davis announced a tentative agreement on a new contract that significantly increases compensation for teachers in DC Public Schools. The tentative agreement will also add additional funding to the District’s education budget, which is already the largest commitment in DC’s history.

“Since 2007, the District of Columbia has blazed a trail to better schools – investing more resources in our classrooms, adding exciting new programs for our students at all levels, and pouring billions of dollars into our school buildings. Yet, for too long, our teachers have not been shown the appreciation nor presented the compensation they deserve. But with this agreement, together we will give our teachers their proper due and send a clear signal that we are all in for kids,” said Mayor Bowser.

Washington Teachers Union members have been without a contract since 2012. Under the proposed contract, educators will receive:

  • salary increases, including a 4 percent retroactive increase in Fiscal Year 2017, a 3 percent increase in Fiscal Year 2018, and a 2 percent increase in Fiscal Year 2019;
  • additional benefits; and
  • structured collaborative engagement between DCPS and the WTU on various issues, including extended-year schools.

“I know a great teacher can change the trajectory of a student’s life, and the teachers at DC Public Schools work each and every day to change the lives of all our students,” says Chancellor Wilson. “Our teachers ensure students are challenged academically, experience the joy of learning, and reach new altitudes.”

The Bowser Administration, DCPS, and the WTU have worked together to create a new contract that values a positive work environment, opportunities for growth, and compensation that encourages teachers to base their careers at DC Public Schools – the fastest improving urban school district in the country. The contract builds on DCPS’s strong system of teacher support by providing teachers with additional professional compensation and benefits. Members of the WTU will vote on the tentative agreement within 14 days. If WTU members affirm the contract, the contract will then go to DC Council for approval.

“We make better decisions when teachers are part of the process, and it is important that teachers feel valued every day as they work in service of young people,” says WTU President Elizabeth Davis. “I look forward to continuing to work with Chancellor Wilson on behalf of our teachers.”

In School Year 2016-2017, DC Public Schools employed 4,015 teachers, serving nearly 50,000 students across 115 schools. Currently, DC Public Schools has the highest first-year teacher salary in the country at $53,000, as well as the fastest path for teachers to earn a six-figure salary; this agreement will further cement that standing.

Eleven extended-year schools, where teachers are on 12-month contracts, began School Year 2017-2018 on Monday, August 14. The remaining schools will start the school year on Monday, August 21.