Denver  teachers,  school  district  reach  deal  to  end  strike

Denver teachers, school district reach deal to end strike

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 3, 2019

FILE PICTURE: Teachers, trainees and members of the neighborhood march toward the Denver Central Library, where agreement settlements in between school district and teachers union officials continue, as Denver public school teachers strike for a 2nd day in Denver, Colorado, U.S., February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Ciaglo

Denver instructors and school district authorities reached an agreement early on Thursday after an all-night bargaining session to end a strike that disrupted classes for 92,000 trainees this week, the union said.

Although the agreement need to be ratified by a bulk of its members to take impact, instructors may return to classes as early as Thursday, the union stated in a statement issued prior to the start of the school day.

“This contract is a win, plain and simple: for our students; for our teachers; and for our neighborhoods,” Denver Class Teachers Association President (DCTA) Henry Roman, an primary school instructor, stated in the statement.

The marathon negotiating session, which began on Wednesday early morning, ended with a offer that overhauls a pay system, understood as ProComp, that instructors and the Denver Public Schools district had slammed as unpredictable, the union said.

“We’re pleased to share that DPS and the DCTA reached a tentative agreement on a new ProComp contract at about 6 a.m. on Thursday after negotiating through the night,” the school district said in a statement on Twitter and Facebook, utilizing the acronym for Denver Public Schools.

All 207 Denver public schools will hold classes on Thursday, except prekindergarten, the district said. Schools have been staffed by substitute instructors and administrators throughout the strike.

The walkout, the very first teachers’ strike in Colorado’s biggest city because 1994, began on Monday after 15 months of agreement talks broke down.

It followed a wave of teacher walkouts in Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia last year and a six-day strike in Los Angeles that was settled last month.

The tentative arrangement includes base pay increases of between 7 percent and 11 percent on a salary schedule that has 20 pay steps, along with expense of living increases in the 2nd and third years of the contract, the union stated. More details will be published later on, it said.

ProComp, or Expert Compensation, had been criticized by the union, as well as by schools Superintendent Anna Cordova, as offering unforeseeable benefits based on moving requirements and resources. As a result, the union stated numerous instructors were leaving Denver because their payment failed to keep pace with the city’s cost of living.

Both sides promised to work more collaboratively throughout the term of the contract.

“This is actually the kind of discussion that we ought to be having all the time,” Cordova stated on Wednesday during negotiations that were livestreamed over the web in a highly unusual relocation.

Reporting and composing by Peter Szekely in New York and Keith Coffman in Denver; additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; modifying by Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis