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Teachers from Douglas and Jefferson counties in ColoradoCSMS Magazine

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.”

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