A letter from the new President of the Colorado Education Association (CEA) was released last week, calling for “solidarity” with their “brothers and sisters in Douglas County.” The document was addressed to statewide CEA teacher’s union members and requested that they all join in a planned protest of tomorrow evening’s Douglas County School Board meeting.
The local union, Douglas County Federation of Teachers (DCFT), is an American Federation of Teachers (AFT) shop that recently lost its collective bargaining rights after failing to strike a compromise with the reform-minded Board of Education which lead to an expired contract. Though the CEA is not directly affiliated with the AFT, President Kerrie Dallman expressed concern, claiming that it is in the best interest of fellow unions to get involved because it is “only a matter of time” before other school boards across the state use Douglas County as a pilot project and also take up “anti-union” reform.
One local teacher aligned with the union responded to the CEA’s letter by purchasing Halloween masks from her local Target to be worn at the protest in order to disguise herself from the “anti-teacher” Board of Education as she rallied. She boasted of the transaction on Facebook, causing a mixed reaction among others also aligned with the union agenda.
Outlined by another recent “Call To Action” sent around to union supporters, the goals of the upcoming protest are to “demand” that the Douglas County School District:
- Resume negotiations with the DCFT for the purpose of agreeing upon a Collective Bargaining Agreement that is fair and equitable to all teachers and provides for what is best for students.
- The elimination of market-based pay for teachers and their subsequent salary bands, and the return to a traditional salary schedule.
- A relationship between community stakeholders and DCSD which embraces and exemplifies collaboration and cooperation to provide the best education for our students.
The flyer also noted that attendees should follow the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) guidelines to proper protesting. These requests all come at the heels of over a year-long open discussion between the two parties in the district where each of these points were already debated at length.
The last protest effort by those in opposition to the school board garnered a rally of less than a dozen people.