**FILE** Jacqueline Pogue Lyons (WI photo)

The Washington Teachers’ Union and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, ending negotiations that had been drawn out over several months. 

The agreement includes a 12% pay raise over four years, a 4% signing bonus, a significant increase in an administration premium and the inclusion of all benefits. 

More details about the contract will be released upon teachers’ return from the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The development comes after teachers, parents, elected officials and community members stood outside of D.C. public schools last week for a “Day of Action,” which aimed to raise awareness about the ongoing contract negotiations and conditions that District teachers faced. Teachers hosted similar events earlier in the year at Freedom Plaza, the John A. Wilson Building and several Metro stations. 

Public school teachers in the District had gone without a renewed contract for three years. Earlier this year, negotiations reached a standstill because of disagreements about cost-of-living increases, planning time and benefits. 

While Bowser insisted that she and D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis Ferebee brought forth a solid contract, many teachers continued to push for what they described as protections for their economic and mental well-being. 

However, it appeared that both parties came to an agreement Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, WTU President Jacqueline Pogue Lyons acknowledged the work of teachers in accomplishing the breakthrough. 

“We love our teachers, and we want Washington, D.C., to be the number one city for teachers — a city where teachers stay at their school and live in the city,” Lyons said. “Beyond pay and benefits, it was important for this agreement to reflect the district has for teachers and the work they do for D.C. students. We will continue to work together and across government to make sure schools, teachers and students have what they need to do well.”

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Sam P.K. Collins

Sam P.K. Collins has more than a decade of experience as a journalist, columnist and organizer. Sam, a millennial and former editor of WI Bridge, covers education, police brutality, politics, and other...

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