Denver Teachers Go On Strike For Higher Pay After Negotiations Stall

“We’re hoping for a quick solution to this whole thing..."

Denver public school teachers have gone on strike after they failed to make a deal with city leaders over base pay and bonuses.

More than 2,100 educators went on strike, the first of its kind in Denver in 25 years. Around 160 schools were impacted, according to The Denver Post. Most K-12 public schools in the city will be hampered, but none will close. Classes were canceled for more than 5,000 pre-school children. The other grades are filling in the gaps with substitute teachers and school administrators.

Negotiations are at an impasse over the structure of teacher's salaries. The district uses bonuses to incentivize teachers to work in low-income schools, which it says increases academic performance of poor and minority students, Denver CBS reported. But teachers want lower bonuses and higher base salaries, which they say are inconsistent when the district includes various incentives in their pay. The current starting salary for teachers in Denver is $43,255 a year, and teachers are demanding an increase to $45,800.

"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," Rob Gould, Denver Classroom Teachers Association spokesman, told Denver CBS. "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."

The Denver strike comes after teachers successfully went on strike in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Los Angeles, among other places, demanding raises in pay and increased benefits. 

Cover image via Shutterstock / Karl_Sonnen.

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