WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA)-- They voted online and when it was done by midday Wednesday, DC's public school teachers had approved a new contract 1412 to 425.
The pay raise will boost the average educator salary from $67,000-$81,000 per year.
Union President George Parker called it a great day for teachers and students. When asked if school Chancellor Michelle Rhee retains ultimate authority to fire teachers, he said he thought there were enough checks and balances in the agreement.
Chancellor Rhee had jury duty and was unavailable for comment.
The deal increases salaries 21.6% over 5 years with an immediate 11% retroactive payment.
There is also voluntary performance pay that could push salaries near the $140,000 mark for outstanding classroom teachers who produce impressive student test scores.
Teacher development is included in the new contract. Classroom performance trumps senority if teacher jobs are to be cut.
The DC Council must now approve the contract.
Written by Bruce Johnson
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com
Statement from George Parker, President of the Washington Teachers' Union:
After two and a half years of negotiations, I am extremely pleased that our members have voted "Yes" on an agreement that will provide teachers with the tools and resources so that all children in DC Public Schools will have a quality education.
This contract invests in teachers' professional growth, creates conditions for success for students, boosts teacher pay so that it is highly competitive with surrounding jurisdictions, provides resources necessary to improve teaching and learning, focuses on student discipline and includes new checks and balances related to excessing and reduction in force.
I would like to thank our teachers for letting their collective voice be heard by voting in support of a contract that is good for kids and fair to teachers. The Washington Teachers' Union is committed to continuing our efforts to ensure that teachers are provided with the tools, resources and respect they need to improve education in DC Public Schools.
It is now up to the DC City Council to approve the compensation so the real work can begin.