D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday signed a new agreement with the union representing school principals that District officials say will help them improve recruitment and retention efforts.
The new agreement with the Council of School Officers, which represents 840 D.C. Public School administrators and service providers, is the first since the previous agreement expired in September 2020.
Bowser said it includes a retroactive 2.5% pay raise for fiscal 2021, the same for fiscal 2022, a 3.5% pay increase for fiscal 2023 and a 4% increase for fiscal 2024.
“During the past pandemic, our members were contact tracers, our members were testers, they were all manners of school leaders,” said Richard Jackson, president of the Council of School Officers. “They really gave their all to hold the school district together.”
The group’s previous agreement started Oct. 1, 2017, and ended Sept. 30, 2020.
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said at a signing event that the new contract demonstrates that the District has “a commitment to continue to recruit and retain the best leaders in the country.”
Bowser also said she’s “proud of the offer we put on the table” to the Washington Teachers’ Union, which represents 4,000 teachers. But the two sides have not reached an agreement on a new contract.
Washington Teachers’ Union President Jacqueline Pogue Lyons said D.C. teachers haven’t received a raise or agreed to a new contract in three years. The two sides are now in mediation, she said.
“Teachers have weathered the challenges,” Pogue Lyons told WTOP. “… We’re only asking for what helps students.”
Morale among D.C. teachers is low, Pogue Lyons said, due to pay, an issue with retention and fallout from the pandemic.
Ferebee said District leaders are in active conversations with all employee unions, and that he looks forward “to standing in agreement with those organizations, including the Washington Teachers’ Union, which we’re in conversation with now.”