DCSD opens labor negotiations to the public
CASTLE ROCK – In a bold move toward increased transparency, the Douglas County Board of Education adopted a resolution to open labor negotiations to the public.
“This is an historic night for district labor/management relations in Colorado,” said Board President John Carson. “This move is very consistent with our belief in financial transparency. These are taxpayer dollars and the public has a right to know how they are spent.”
The resolution, which passed by a margin of 7 to 0 states, “… the Douglas County School District Board of Education (the “Board”) has consistently stated that openness and transparency are important elements to establishing trust and credibility with students, parents, district employees and taxpayers.”
The resolution also specifies guidelines for open negotiation sessions that include a minimum of 24 hours notice to the public.
Instituting open negotiations between the Douglas County Federation of Teachers and the District is the latest effort to shine a bright light on the use of taxpayer dollars. The Douglas County Board of Education has made transparency a keystone of District policy. In addition to open negotiations, the Board has instituted financial transparency measures, open public forums, telephone town halls, school visits, webinars, online news publications, and community outreach to provide students, parents, employees, and taxpayers with information and resources about the district.
The first open negotiations session is slated for Wednesday, April 11th at 9:00 a.m. The session will be held at the DCSD Cantril Building (312 Cantril Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104). The complete agenda will be posted on the DCSD website 24 hours prior to the meeting. Parties are expected to discuss a broad range of employee benefits as well as specific elements within the current teacher contract.
“We hope the public will take notice of these important negotiations as salary and benefits make up nearly 70% of total district spending,” continued Carson. “As we work to balance the DCSD budget, we are absolutely committed to putting our students first and doing everything we can to minimize any impact on the classroom - that means recruiting and retaining the highest quality teachers and staff.”