Denver  instructors  extend  strike  after  talks  end  without  offer

Denver instructors extend strike after talks end without offer

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 3, 2019

DENVER – Denver instructors are set to extend their strike into a third day after settlements with district leaders ended Tuesday night without a deal.

Tuesday’s talks came a day after more than half of the city’s instructors strolled off the job amidst a pay conflict.

The negotiations, which are set to resume Wednesday, began with conversations over altering Denver’s pay system to more carefully resemble those in other districts that make it much easier for teachers to advance in pay based on experience, education and training.

The instructors are following the lead of teachers throughout the nation by donning red in the middle of strikes and protests for much better pay and working conditions.

On Tuesday, all schools stayed open and staffed by administrators, replaces and teachers not participating in the strike. At the start of the talks, superintendent Susana Cordova acknowledged that students were not getting the kind of guideline they generally would and said she was devoted to reaching a offer to end the strike.

Lead union negotiator Rob Gould cut off to tell her, “You can’t do the task without us.”

The negotiations began with discussions over altering Denver’s pay system to more closely look like other districts that permit teachers to advance in pay based on experience, education and training. Both sides fulfilled publicly and in personal to talk about proposals.

Preliminary reports from the school district show 58 percent of teachers did not report to work on Tuesday, somewhat more than on the very first day of the strike Monday.

The walkout came about a year after West Virginia teachers released the nationwide “Red4Ed” motion with a nine-day strike in which they won 5 percent pay raises. The majority of just recently, Los Angeles instructors held a six-day strike last month.

There are 71,000 students in district-run schools. Another 21,000 are enrolled in charter schools unaffected by the strike.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, told a crowd of picketing teachers outside the state Capitol on Monday that theirs was the latest in a nationwide motion to offer simply compensation to educators.

“You are special here in Denver due to the fact that here you are saying, ‘Can I simply understand what I’m being paid?’” she stated. “Let me inform you: You are going to modification this.”

The disagreement is over the school district’s incentive-based pay system. The district provides rewards varying from $1,500 to $3,000 a year to teachers who work in schools with trainees from low-income families, in schools that are designated high top priority or in positions that are thought about hard to personnel, such as unique education or speech language pathology.

The union is pressing to lower or eliminate some of those perks to free up more cash that would be added to overall teacher pay. The district sees the contested bonuses as secret to improving the scholastic performance of poor and minority trainees.

Kimberly Beckeman, a ceramics and sculpture teacher at South High School, stated she cried when the union revealed teachers would go ahead and strike after 15 months of negotiations. She said she did not want to leave her trainees, however it was time to act.

Liz Myers (center), a teacher at High Tech Elementary School, joins a chant throughout a rally for striking Denver Public Schools instructors in Civic Center Park.

“It’s what’s right. It’s not perfect. I put on’t want to be out here,” she said on a picket line outside the school Monday.

Teachers state the dependence on rewards leads to high turnover, which they state harms students, and that costs cash on smaller class sizes and adding support staff, like therapists, is the finest way to assistance disadvantaged students.

The district has actually proposed raising starting instructor pay from $43,255 to $45,500 a year. That’s $300 a year less than the union’s proposition, which would include $50 million a year to teacher base pay, according to union officials.