Denver teachers strike for 2nd day, negotiations to resume
By COLLEEN SLEVIN
Tuesday, February 12
DENVER (AP) — The teacher strike in Denver entered a second day Tuesday with educators disputing pay back on the picket lines and union and school officials set to resume negotiations in an effort to end the walkout.
The strike affecting about 71,000 students in the school district began Monday after last-minute negotiations broke down over the weekend.
All schools were open and staffed by administrators, substitutes and teachers not participating in the strike. The negotiations were scheduled to start late Monday morning.
According to preliminary reports from the school district, 58 percent of teachers stayed away from district-run schools, slightly more than on the first day of the strike Monday.
The walkout came about a year after West Virginia teachers launched the national “Red4Ed” movement with a nine-day strike in which they won 5 percent pay raises. Most recently, Los Angeles teachers went on strike last month.
There are 71,000 students in district-run schools. Another 21,000 are enrolled in charter schools unaffected by the strike.
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, told a crowd of picketing teachers outside the Colorado State Capitol on Monday that theirs was the latest in a national movement to provide just compensation to educators.
“You are unique here in Denver because here you are saying, ‘Can I just know what I’m being paid?’” she said. “Let me tell you: You are going to change this.”
In Denver, the dispute is over the school district’s incentive-based pay system. The city’s school district gives bonuses ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 a year to teachers who work in schools with students from low-income families, in schools that are designated high priority or in positions that are considered hard to staff, such as special education or speech language pathology.