DC Teachers Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract
WASHINGTON—District of Columbia educators voted 97 percent to 3 percent this evening to ratify a new three-year contract with D.C. Public Schools that will deliver significant salary increases, improve learning, and kick-start a new era of collaboration between the union and the district.
The agreement provides teachers with a 9 percent salary boost and addresses issues related to extended school years, among other highlights.
Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, applauded the members of the 4,300-strong WTU who approved the new contract in tonight’s ballot. The WTU is an affiliate of the AFT.
The WTU’s Davis said: “I know it is only a first step, but it’s a crucial one toward building a truly collaborative relationship between DCPS and the educators represented by our union. I ran for WTU president on a platform of equity for all students and fairness for every teacher. This agreement will help make that happen.”
The AFT’s Weingarten added: “This contract is yet another sign that the old era of attacking and de-professionalizing teachers is over. It was a bad idea when it started back in 2007, and it is bad idea today. This new agreement flips the switch—it sets educators and the district on a collaborative path to meet the needs of children, while building teacher capacity and creating a supportive school environment.
“We know collaboration isn’t easy and earning trust doesn’t happen overnight, but this contract is a genuine starting point for a more equitable and successful partnership that will benefit kids, parents and educators alike.”
As with all labor contracts in the District of Columbia, the final step will be approval by the D.C. Council, expected in the next few weeks.
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.