After talks break off, Denver teachers set to strike Monday

  • After talks break off, Denver teachers set to strike Monday

After talks break off, Denver teachers set to strike Monday

It's the first one in 25 years in the school district.

Teachers also have a strong incentive to get back to work: They don't get paid for days that they strike, a tough position to sustain for workers so distressed about their compensation that they are willing to take collective action. The largest struggles were by teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, initiated by the rank-and-file, not the unions.

The dispute is over the school district's incentive-based pay system. Twenty years ago, the district first piloted the "Professional Compensation System for Teachers", known by most as ProComp.

"They need us. They need our labor, they need our minds, they need our talents to really make it happen", lead union negotiator Rob Gould said.

Cordova said students at schools she visited were working in classrooms, overseen by adults.

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

But the walkout was put on hold because the school district asked the state to intervene. She says she is hopeful the district and teachers union can come to an agreement quickly. Denver teachers plan to strike today.

With the "ProComp" system, launched in 2005, teachers obtain raises for helping students achieve higher test scores or for working in more hard schools.

Many drivers honked in support and used their cellphones to capture the moment.

According to district data, that's about half of the teachers employed. On the other hand, if students experience chaotic conditions inside their schools, pressure for the strike to end could grow.

There has been a wave of teacher activism in the USA since last spring, when teachers walked out in West Virginia. It appears likely it won't be the last walkout, with teachers in Oakland, Calif., moving toward a strike.

Denver schools remained open Monday and district officials have said administrators and substitute teachers will staff them. In Denver, both the district and union have encouraged families to continue to send their children to school.

A leading Colorado lawmaker says Denver's teachers strike underscores the need to boost funding of public schools across the state.

Teachers started the strike Monday. The WSWS Teacher Newsletter urges Denver educators to begin forming rank-and-file strike committees in every school and community, which are independent of both the unions and the corporate-controlled political parties. Teachers in Pueblo, Colorado, also held a five-day strike a year ago.

As is universally the case, the primary concern of Denver educators is low pay.

Both sides met Saturday in a final attempt to reach a new contract after over a year of negotiations.

A last flurry of negotiating sessions between DPS and the DCTA failed to produce the sort of breakthrough that might have prevented a walkout.

On social media, some local substitute teachers indicated that they would refuse to cross the picket line.

Last month, 93% of the union's almost 3,000 members voted to strike after negotiations with the school district failed.

Teachers from Denver Public Schools went on strike for better pay.

"We will strike Monday for our students and for our profession, and perhaps then DPS will get the message and return to the bargaining table with a serious proposal aimed at solving the teacher turnover crisis in Denver", Henry Roman, DCTA president, said in a statement. The district's proposal allocates more money toward base pay, but still offers up to $2,500 in incentives for teachers working in certain high-poverty schools, the Post reports.

At a news conference, district Superintendent Susana Cordova said negotiations will resume on Tuesday, an announcement confirmed by the union.