DENVER (Reuters) – Denver teachers and school district officials reached an agreement early on Thursday after an all-night bargaining session to end a strike that interrupted classes for 92,000 students this week, the union stated.
FILE PHOTO: Educators, trainees and members of the neighborhood march towards the Denver Central Library, where agreement negotiations in between school district and teachers union officials continue, as Denver public school instructors strike for a 2nd day in Denver, Colorado, U.S., February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Ciaglo
Although the contract must be validated by a majority of its members to take impact, teachers may return to classes as early as Thursday, the union said in a declaration issued prior to the start of the school day.
“This contract is a win, plain and easy: for our trainees; for our teachers; and for our neighborhoods,” Denver Classroom Teachers Association President (DCTA) Henry Roman, an elementary school teacher, stated in the statement.
The marathon negotiating session, which began on Wednesday morning, ended with a deal that overhauls a pay system, known as ProComp, that teachers 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 arrangement on a new ProComp contract at about 6 a.m. on Thursday after negotiating through the night,” the school district said in a declaration on Twitter and Facebook, using the acronym for Denver Public Schools.
All 207 Denver public schools will hold classes on Thursday, except prekindergarten, the district stated. Schools have actually been staffed by alternative instructors and administrators throughout the strike.
The walkout, the very first instructors’ strike in Colorado’s largest city considering that 1994, began on Monday after 15 months of contract talks broke down.
It followed 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.
The tentative arrangement consists of base pay increases of in between 7 percent and 11 percent on a salary schedule that has 20 pay actions, along with expense of living increases in the second and 3rd years of the agreement, the union stated. More details will be posted later, it stated.
ProComp, or Professional Compensation, had been criticized by the union, as well as by schools Superintendent Anna Cordova, as offering unpredictable perks based on moving criteria and resources. As a result, the union stated numerous instructors were leaving Denver due to the fact that their settlement stopped working to keep pace with the city’s cost of living.
Both sides pledged to work more collaboratively throughout the term of the contract.
“This is really the kind of discussion that we ought to be having all the time,” Cordova said on Wednesday throughout settlements that were livestreamed over the web in a highly unusual move.
Reporting and writing 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