Westminster Public Schools and the Westminster Education Association gave tentative approval to a two-year contract on Monday, February 27 that will keep starting teacher salaries for WPS teachers at the highest level in the state. Pay for Education Support Professionals (ESP) is very competitive, but because of variable job descriptions and work calendars, it’s impossible to make direct comparisons. Last year, WPS raised the minimum wage to $20.00 an hour.
Under the new proposal, which is expected to be ratified quickly, first year teachers will earn $60,935 under a salary schedule that incentivizes teachers to further their own education. Current teachers will receive a 3% pay increase along with an increase tied to licensed steps and continuing education (horizontal moves). Year two of the contract provides a similar increase.
Significantly, the second year of the contract allows teachers who have earned a doctorate degree to earn up to $120,000 a year.
“This is a good agreement for our staff, our community and most importantly for our students,” said Superintendent Pam Swanson. “When the community approved our mill levy override in 2018, we promised taxpayers that we would focus on attracting and retaining high quality staff. This agreement does just that.”
WEA President Fran Groff-Gonzales praised negotiators for working in good faith. “The fact that we all respected and worked with each other with the end goal being what is best for children is what was important,” she said.
Board member Christine Martinez, who was part of the negotiating team, was equally enthusiastic, “We have again proven that we are a community where we work and listen to each other, and where everyone wants the same thing and that is pretty special.”
The groundbreaking agreement received significant media attention from Chalkbeat Colorado and other media outlets.