New teachers in Jeffco Public Schools will earn starting salaries of $50,000 and the most experienced teachers will be able to earn more than $100,000 a year under a tentative agreement between the district and the teachers union.
Jeffco Public Schools and the Jefferson County Education Association reached the agreement late Wednesday, two weeks before the start of the school year. Earlier, after months of bargaining, the union had declared an impasse and the two sides had moved to mediation.
The agreement still requires ratification by the school board and union members.
Christine Wiggins, a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Education Association, the union representing teachers and special service providers, said the new salary schedule strikes a balance between retaining experienced educators, which had been the union’s priority, and attracting new teachers to the district, which had been the administration’s priority.
Starting salaries for new teachers will go up 15% to $50,000 from the current $43,274 a year. Wiggins estimated that average increases for current teachers would be around 9%. The contract guarantees all teachers a raise of at least $3,000 a year and some will get two or three times that.
A district spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about the agreement, including how much it will cost, instead deferring comment until an official statement is released Thursday afternoon.
School districts around the state are increasing pay as they grapple with staffing shortages, even as the rapidly rising cost of living eats away at those gains.