Denver Public Schools Strike Possible

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (the teacher’s union in the Denver Public Schools) has “declared an impasse in our bargaining with the district.”  Scheduled mediation ends tomorrow.  If there isn’t a deal, Denver teachers could vote to authorize a strike.Denver teacher’s argue that their pay is lower than in surrounding districts for experienced teachers and that the proposed 2.1% base pay increase the District is offering will not even offset increases in their share of health insurance costs in many cases, while neighboring districts cover 100% of health insurance costs.

The District is under pressure due to declining traditional school (as opposed to charter school) enrollment, and rising pension costs.  The District has excess real estate which is also a burden for it to carry.  It also argues that salaries have outpaced revenue increases over the past few years.

Under the existing agreement pay for teachers in the District ranges from $31,633 for a newly minted education school graduate with only a Bachelor’s degree to $65,818 for a teacher with a PhD with maximum seniority. 

The union will discuss the results of the mediation at an all teacher meeting at North High School at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 31.

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Andrew Oh-Willeke

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