District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) reached a tentative agreement last month, which has been months in the making and was a result of constant sniping between DCPS, WTU, and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
WUSA reported that the teachers’ union members must vote to ratify the agreement, which vote will take place this month. D.C. teachers’ last contract with DCPS expired in 2019.
The agreement will affect over 5,000 DCPS teachers and consists of a 12% salary increase in the next four years and a 4% retention bonus. This contract will last through 2024, which means that DCPS and WTU will negotiate their next deal in 2023.
Mayor Bowser said, after the agreement was reached, “Today, we are proud to reach an agreement that delivers robust back pay in recognition of the tireless efforts and sacrifice our teachers have made over the past three years.” She assumed that the contract will help DCPS “retain and attract the best talent for our schools.”
WTU President Jacqueline Pogue Lyons said that the contract could keep teachers in the district and potentially keep retention rates higher. “We know we can get great teachers, but we’re having challenges in the D.C. area, keeping them,” said Pogue Lyons.
Neither Bowser or Pogue Lyons admitted that DCPS’s test scores are terrible by any standard, and although the teachers’ union impasse is mostly over, the agreement does not solve the plethora of education issues facing DCPS students on a daily basis.