Denver Teachers Go On Strike After Failing To Reach Pay Deal

Rare | 2/11/2019 | Associated Press
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Denver’s teachers started picketing before the start of the school day and students crossed through the picket lines on their way to class in some locations. Students in at least one school walked out of class and demonstrated in support of their teachers.

The city’s schools will remain open during the strike and will be staffed by administrators and substitute teachers, the school district said. But classes for 5,000 preschool children were canceled because the district does not have the staff to take care of them.

Union - Leaders - Reporters - Talks - Weekend

Union leaders told reporters they were frustrated with failed talks over the weekend aimed at reaching a deal. Union president Henry Roman said teachers were committed to reaching a deal but said that both sides needed a cooling off period. Another negotiation session is expected Tuesday.

“They need us. They need our labor, they need our minds, they need our talents to really make it happen,” lead union negotiator Rob Gould said. The strike for Denver’s more than 4,000 teachers is their first in 25 years. It comes after teachers walked off the job in Arizona and West Virginia last year and Los Angeles teachers went on strike last month.

Los - Angeles - Teachers - Percent - Raise

The Los Angeles teachers ended up getting the same 6 percent raise offered early on by the nation’s second-largest school district. However, they also sought and won promises for smaller class sizes and adding more nurses and counselors.

In Denver, the main sticking points in the talks over a contract governing an incentive pay system are lowering bonuses to put more money in teachers’ base pay and how to allow teachers to advance in pay based on education and training, the norm in most school districts.

Union - Bonuses - High-priority - Schools - Money

The union pushed for lower bonuses for high-poverty and high-priority schools to free up more money for overall teacher pay and criticized the district...
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