Teachers are picketing outside schools around the city as the district tries to keep schools open by staffing them with administrators and substitutes.
“We’re hoping for a quick solution to this whole thing but unfortunately after 15 months of bargaining, the district (has) been unable to listen and they have been unwilling to listen. And so we’re hoping they come to table tomorrow ready to listen so we can get back to work, because our teachers want to be in their classrooms with their kids,” said Rob Gould, Denver Classroom Teachers Association spokesman.
Teachers are planning to leave the picket lines to rally at the state Capitol at 2 p.m. on Monday. Denver Public Schools is also scheduled to discuss the strike at 11:30 a.m.
The district canceled classes for about 5,000 pre-schoolers because it doesn’t have the staff to take care of them.
Members of the DCTA voted Jan. 22 to strike. The State of Colorado announced it would not intervene on Feb. 6. That cleared the way for teachers to begin striking Monday.
The two sides disagree on pay increases and bonuses for teachers in high-poverty schools and other schools that the district considers a priority. Teachers want lower bonuses to free up money for better overall salaries. The district says the bonuses are key to boosting the academic performance of poor and minority students.
Outside South High School after the start of school on Monday morning some students left the school to join teachers outside.
DCTA will operate community food banks to assist families affected by the strike. Non-perishable donations may be delivered and families may receive goods form 7 a.m. to noon at the following locations:
– Northwest Denver Firefighters Local 858, 12 Lakeside Ln.
– Northeast – IBEW Local 111: 5965 E 39th Ave.
– Southwest National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 47: 5151 W 1st Ave.
– Southeast – Unite Here Local 23: 5303 E Evans Ave., # 302.