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DCPS is not serious about engaging in good-faith contract talks.
Instead of engaging in serious, good-faith contract talks with the WTU DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson has chosen to put forth an insulting salary increase and attempted to use her position to manipulate our union’s internal elections.
On April 6, 2016, after WTU rejected the last offer for pay raises that Chancellor Henderson had put on the table, Geo Johnson, the Mediator, excused himself from the bargaining table with the promise that he would return upon request. I made several attempts to reach out to the Chancellor to schedule an in-person meeting to set a date for our teams to return to the bargaining table to complete negotiations on two articles; (1) compensation and (2) the grievance and arbitration process. In a brief conversation with the Chancellor on April 18th, she agreed to call. To date, I still have not heard from her.
On April 21, 2016, during the DCPS budget hearing held by the City Council Education Committee, the Chancellor stated the following: "We have suspended our negotiations. ... there is a teachers' union election that's happening over the coming weeks and so it is probably best to revisit the negotiations conversation after that election happens." (Click HERE to view the video). This is the first time we had heard this. The WTU never agreed to suspend negotiations, nor were we notified of the suspension of negotiations by the Chancellor or any member of her team.
DCPS should not be concerned with the WTU elections and should take no actions at the bargaining table based on the WTU elections! It is simply wrong, and probably unlawful, for DCPS management to interfere in any way with union elections. The Chancellor's refusal to bargain in good faith shows that she would rather use her position and influence to manipulate our internal elections than bargain a contract that is good for students and fair to teachers.
WTU is committed to representing every educator in the District of Columbia Public Schools