DENVER – The Latest on a possible strike by Denver teachers (all times local):
Denver teachers are prepared to walk of the job for the first time in 25 years over an incentive-based pay system that they call unpredictable and unfair to experienced educators.
If teachers get their way in a last-minute deal or during a strike expected Monday, it could be the warm-up for their greater influence over how city schools are funded.
The recent strike in Los Angeles and others nationwide since last spring has focused on more than just pay.
But Denver educators are taking a different approach. They’re limited to discussing pay now because a contract recently expired that governs bonuses for working in high-poverty schools and other things.
They say a win on pay will help them fight for smaller class sizes and additional support staff when their overall contract comes up for negotiations later.
Denver teachers are vowing to walk off the job Monday unless they can reach a last minute pay agreement with school leaders.
Gov. Jared Polis’ administration decided Wednesday against intervening in the fight, giving teachers the legal right to strike. Both Polis and Joe Barela, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, say the teachers and the district are not that far apart.
Rob Gould, the lead negotiator for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, says teachers don’t want to strike, but they will to get a better deal.
Teachers are fighting for more money in their base pay instead of bonuses they say makes it hard for them to predict their income.
Negotiations are tentatively scheduled for Friday.