DPL Workers United Newsletter July/August 2023

Chart showing vast disparity between DPL city librarian and lowest paid library workers

Our union is making moves! 

Your coworkers and supportive community members have been attending library commission meetings, meeting with the mayor, and courting city council on your behalf. Fun fact: attending and speaking at commission meetings are actions that are protected under your First Amendment rights, state whistleblower speech protections, and SB 23-111, a recent piece of legislation (that DPLWU helped pass!) that protects public workers from being retaliated against for joining a union and bringing up workplace issues! 

Where are our raises? 

Denver voters approved ballot measure 2I in November 2022 with the promise that library workers would be paid more. The library received the new funding at the start of the year, but workers have yet to see any increase in wages more than halfway through August. These delays are unacceptable and expose the cruel reality of working at DPL: frontline staff struggle to make ends meet while our well-compensated admin continually delays our much-needed adjustments and refuses to share substantive information with us.

‘A raise for me but not for thee…

On July 7, DPL requested that the city change the City Librarian’s pay grade from EX-18 (range from $125,176 to $212,799) to EX-20 (from $146,005 to $248,209). Only a signature from the Mayor is needed to enact this change, rather than months of negotiation with OHR (source: OHR Classification Notice No. 1785). 

Michelle Jeske made $172,091 in 2022 (more than halfway up her old pay range) so this change will likely place her annual income north of $200,000 and kick in before our comp adjustments do. $200,000 is more money than many full-time frontline DPL workers make in 4 years (the lowest paid full-time DPL workers can expect to make $35,963 annually). The timing of this request is a slap in the face to staff who have been told to patiently await news on our adjustment and that funding has dried up for crucial positions at our branches. Our leadership must do better! Join DPLWU to fight for fair, consistent raises across our library, instead of arbitrary raises for the highest ranking staff only. 

Support and be supported, join the union!

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