D.C. public school teachers have overwhelmingly approved a new contract, ending a labor impasse that had lasted for five years.
The contract, ratified on Friday by union members, includes salary increases of 9 percent over three years. It does not apply to teachers who work in public charter schools.
The contract must be approved by the D.C. Council. District Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), who is up for reelection next year, called on council members to quickly sign off on the agreement.
“Having gone five years without a contract failed to demonstrate the appreciation we have for our teachers,” she said in a statement. “This contract fulfills our commitment to the teachers that we entrust with our children.”
Teachers have not had their base salaries increased since 2012, when their last contract expired under the previous DCPS schools chancellor Kaya Henderson. The new chancellor, Antwan Wilson, took over in February.
The contract is retroactive to last October and includes a 4 percent increase for the year that ends Sept. 30. Teachers would see a pay raise of 3 percent for the next fiscal year and 2 percent for the year after that.
Union leaders said that the five-year period without pay raises had been frustrating and difficult for the union’s more than 4,500 members.
Washington Teacher’s Union President Elizabeth A. Davis said that in addition to the raises, the new contract gives teachers more of a voice in crafting the educational policies that affect their students and “signals the era of top-down management might be coming to an end.”
School system leaders, Davis said in a statement, “are signaling their willingness to take the first step in beginning to develop a truly collaborative relationship with D.C. educators to ensure that all D.C. public school students receive the education they deserve.”
The raises would cost $61.6 million over three years, according to city officials. Another $51.2 million would be set aside to cover public charter schools as part of a legal requirement for equity in funding.
The new contract is scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, so the D.C. Council would need to vote before then.