United, we’re strong! This is the message we’re getting from teachers across the country. From West Virginia to Los Angeles, teachers are organized to demand fair treatment and a decent salary from which they can pay their bills. Last Thursday, it was Denver’s turn to rise. They went on a three-day strike that ended last Thursday.
In this teacher revolution, payment structuring has been one of the main issues. District officials usually prefer a performance-based increase. This would allow Denver educators to earn more for things like strong evaluations, students’ high-test scores and teaching in a high-performing or high-poverty school. But school officials have always used performance raise as a means to undermine teacher’s long overdue pay increases. The officials like it, for a performance pay will always give them the means to manipulate salary increase and to intimidate teachers because in many instances, performance is a relative term based on administrators’ discretion.
According to US News and World Report, “Under the new agreement, which invests an additional $23 million in teacher pay, educators would see an average base salary increase of 11.7 percent. The bonus structure for teachers in the highest poverty schools would increase to $3,000, and the incentives for teaching hard-to-fill positions would be set at $2,000.”