By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) – Mediators for striking Denver teachers and the city school district returned to the bargaining table on Wednesday after a productive session the previous day, as the walkout impacting 92,000 students got in a 3rd day.
The 2 sides sounded an optimistic note on Tuesday after resuming talks that had broken off on Saturday, and went late into the night looking for to resolve differences over a variable pay system, known as ProComp, which has been at the centre of the disagreement.
“We exchanged propositions that are moving us closer and are hopeful that we will get to an agreement soon,” union President Henry Roman and schools Superintendent Susana Cordova stated in a joint statement late on Tuesday.
“However, we requirement a little more time to willpower the exceptional issues,” they said.
The strike by the 5,650-member Denver Classroom Teachers Association is the first in Colorado’s largest city given that 1994. It follows a wave of instructor walkouts in Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia last year, and a six-day strike in Los Angeles that was settled last month. [nL1N1ZO02X] [nL1N2060D0]
The Denver Public Schools district stated all of its 207 schools would hold classes on Wednesday, except pre-kindergarten, staffed by replacement teachers and administrators, as they have given that the strike started.
On the picket lines, some instructors said the development reported after yesterday’s session offered them factor for optimism.
Cal Hossman, 56, a special education instructor at North High School, said he understands Roman and chief union arbitrator Robert Gould personally, and does not think they would have signed on to the joint statement if they did not believe progress was being made.
“I think the strike has put pressure on the district to come closer to our position,” said Hossman, who has been teaching in the district for 16 years and stated he provides pizza on weekends to enhance his salary.
Claiming that lots of teachers are leaving Denver due to the fact that their pay increases have failed to keep rate with the city’s expense of living, the union has been pushing for a wage structure focused less on perks under ProComp, or Professional Settlement, and more on general wage boosts.
The union embraced the ProComp variable pay system as a method for teachers to construct their incomes through a mix of possible rewards when it was set up in 2005. However it now blames ProComp for eroding instructor pay in a city where the cost of living has skyrocketed in the past 10 years.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Composing by Peter Szekely in New York; Modifying by James Dalgleish)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost personnel and is produced by auto-feed.
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