This was what school looked like Monday morning in a large comprehensive middle school that saw 38 of its 39 teachers join with colleagues across the city going on strike in a dispute with Denver Public Schools about how much teachers are paid and the factors that determine their paychecks. Last month, 93 percent of the union voted to strike, with both sides $8 million apart on salary proposals. A handful of those Denver customers are teachers, according to LaBrier, who says that several of his close friends work in public education, as well.
The Denver teachers strike follows a year of educator activism that swept the nation, drawing teachers out of the classroom from West Virginia to Los Angeles, where teachers were on strike for a week to rally for more classroom resources.
Numerous students who left for the day joined their picketing teachers, according to Pence.
As is universally the case, the primary concern of Denver educators is low pay. Better pay. When do we want it? But the system remains controversial, with critics suggesting the fixation on data has driven scandals that have rocked the district. In the final hours of negotiation on Saturday, the district further angered teachers by doubling-down on such bonuses, many of which are tied to standardized test scores, and ignoring the issue of base pay.
This strike has been 15 months in the making.
"I am extremely disappointed that the DCTA walked away from the table", Superintendent Susana Cordova said late Saturday.
Denver schools remained open Monday and district officials have said administrators and substitute teachers will staff them.
Denver teachers went on strike Monday after failing to reach a deal with administrators on pay.
A leading Colorado lawmaker says Denver's teachers strike underscores the need to boost funding of public schools across the state.
Militancy continues to grow with educators receiving growing support. Early College, East High School, George Washington High School, Denver School of the Arts and John F. Kennedy High School. But the union negotiators asked for $28 million, the bulk of which they want to go to increasing base salaries. "So I'm very happy that we will be back at the table". "And teachers say that makes it really hard to plan or even pay rent".
Denver educators have been told there are no resources to address their demands even though the state is home to 10 billionaires, including the Cargill family, Charlie Ergen (Dish Network) and Pat Stryker, whose private fortunes have always been protected by the Democratic Party. The State of Colorado announced it would not intervene on February 6.
Merely hiring substitute teachers won't satisfy the school district's obligations under federal law to comply with individualized education plans, the lawsuit says. "I want to get this done now". That's all I ever wanted and expected from this profession.
The struggle in Denver speaks directly to the common experiences of educators across the United States and the world. Other students joined hundreds of teachers and union members in a march past City Hall.
"When we strike, we win", Eskelsen Garcia said.
The number of workers involved in strike activity in 2018 hit a 32-year high in the United States in a clear indication that workers are chomping at the bit to fight the awful growth of social inequality.
It's the latest action in a wave of teacher activism since last spring, when teachers walked off the job in West Virginia.
A new road of struggle must be opened up.
The 31-year-old teacher made $56,000 last year, but the rising cost of living in Denver means she has to work extra jobs - as a lacrosse coach, exchange program coordinator and summer camp employee. Before noon, students were also filmed picketing alongside their teachers in support. While he supports the teachers, he believes the union's handling of the negotiations was not appropriate.
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