Denver Teachers Strike Begins

UTLA president Alex Caputo Pearl at the LA March for Public Education December 2018

The union said teacher pay varies from year to year, because the district's pay system uses unpredictable bonuses to compensate for low base pay. As Denver teachers take to the picket lines, Oakland, California, teachers have voted by 95 percent to strike as early as next week; West Virginia teachers and school workers have voted "overwhelmingly" to strike or engage in any work action necessary to oppose a pro-privatization education bill; Wright State, Ohio, faculty and Chicago charter school teachers are on strike.

As a sub and DPS teacher for 30 years, there's no way I'll cross the picket lines.

Some teachers argue that spending money on things like smaller class sizes and adding support staff, like counselors, is the best way to help disadvantaged students learn and make them good schools for teachers to work in. Most recently, Los Angeles teachers staged a six-day strike last month.

At a news conference, district Superintendent Susana Cordova said negotiations will resume on Tuesday. However, they also sought and won promises for smaller class sizes and adding more nurses and counsellors.

What happened to this teacher neatly encompasses the major issues cited by the district, which is fighting to retain aspects of the ProComp system that supplements salaries with an assortment of bonuses, and the union, which wants the premiums to be de-emphasized in favor of across-the-board pay increases.

Some teachers became ineligible for bonuses after their schools lost their official low-income status because parts of the city are undergoing gentrification. "We must invest in public education because our students and teachers deserve better". Los Angeles's teachers union started its strike on a Monday, then returned to the bargaining table during a scheduled day off, Martin Luther King Day, and reached a deal with their district the following day.

In Denver, the dispute is over the school district's incentive-based pay system.

Striking teachers on Monday picketed outside of schools and marched through Denver's streets as auto horns blared in support of the latest USA walkout amid a swell of educator activism that has affected at least a half-dozen state over the past year.

The teachers union and Denver Public Schools met Saturday in an attempt to reach a new contract after more than a year of negotiations, but both sides left disappointed. She also threatened to report striking immigrant teachers for deportation and vowed to keep the schools open with substitutes at double pay.

Teachers picket outside East High School. Students have joined in the protests outside several schools.

About 300 substitutes have been hired, and about 1,400 central office staffers have been re-assigned to schools, Alejo said. As required by state law, teachers gave notice last month that they planned to strike.

"Offers our teachers an nearly 11-percent increase for next year and to hear the feedback and to be in a position that, rather than sticking with it and figuring out, I'm incredibly disappointed that they walked away", stated Susana Cordova, DPS superintendent.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association released a statement after the meeting saying the district's proposal lacks transparency and "pushes for failed incentives for some over meaningful base salary for all". But it can try to help the union and school district reach a deal and can require them participate in a fact-finding process.

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