No Pay Raises, No Contract? This Time, It’s On Us

Tomorrow morning, March 3, starting at 8 am, DCPS teachers will rally at Freedom Plaza (14th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW), in front of DC’s city hall, to demand a new contract.

After 6 years without pay increases or a contract, DCPS teachers were just offered a contract without retroactive pay and without any say whether the school year gets extended.

Members rejected it.

You know, it’s not like this whole contract thing is unheard of for workers getting paid on the public dime. Even teachers at one DC charter school, Paul, want to start a union. They say it would help with teacher turnover, among other things.

DCPS sure could use some help on that front: Right now, DCPS staff turnover averages about 20% a year, with staff leaving the 40 lowest-performing (and highest poverty) schools at an average rate of 33% per year.

(Gosh, I don’t know: maybe relentless high stakes testing and no pay raises actually doesn’t make for a nice employment situation?)

To be sure, this whole public employer/employee playbook is by now quite familiar, as the federal government is currently headed by people who also don’t want to give public workers pay raises–and who appear to not much like the public sphere (or even the public, for that matter).

But this one is on us.

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