Teachers in Colorado's capital plan to strike Monday for the first time in 25 years after failure to bargain with the school district on base salary.
The Denver Teachers' Union and Public Schools met on Saturday to try to sign a new contract after more than a year of negotiations, but both parties were disappointed.
After the meeting, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association issued a statement claiming that the district's proposal lacked transparency and that it "pushed the incentives for creating a base salary too high". important for all ".
"We will strike Monday for our students and for our profession, and maybe then, DPS will understand the message and come back to the bargaining table with a serious proposal to address the crisis of teacher turnover at Denver, "said Henry Roman, president of the teachers. union.
Meanwhile, superintendent of schools Susana Cordova said that she was "extremely disappointed" at the fact that the union withdrew from the table instead of continuing to work to reach an agreement.
"We have submitted an updated proposal that responds to what our teachers have said, which corresponds to our values of equity and retention … and which greatly increases the base salary of all our educators," Cordova said. .
Teachers plan to picket around the city starting Monday as the district tries to keep the schools open with directors and alternates. The district has canceled classes for about 5,000 preschool children because they do not have the staff to look after them.
Both parties disagree on salary increases and bonuses for teachers in very poor schools and other schools that the district considers a priority. Teachers want lower bonuses to free up money and improve overall salaries, while administrators say these bonuses are needed to improve the educational outcomes of poor and minority students.
Premiums paid to teachers with more than 14 years of experience are not part of their base salary, which critics say encourages high turnover and hurts students. Both parties agreed to delete this provision but disagree on the amount of bonuses for teachers working in very poor schools and in schools considered as high priority by the district.
Governor Jared Polis decided Wednesday not to intervene to stop the strike, but said he could intervene if it dragged on. It would take about $ 400,000 a day for schools to work with alternates and administrators.
According to the teachers' union, 93% of its members supported a strike during a vote last month.
Colleen Slevin, Associated Press Editor, contributed to this report.