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Denver lecturers march out of school rooms in strike over wages

Denver teachers march out of classrooms in strike over wages


Denver lecturers march out of school rooms in strike over wages

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) – Denver public college lecturers walked off the job on Monday to demand increased and extra predictable earnings, disrupting lessons for some 92,000 college students within the newest of a wave of strikes by U.S. educators over the previous 12 months.

The walkout comes after a six-day strike by Los Angeles college lecturers ended final month in a deal to scale back class sizes and lift salaries by 6 p.c, and follows statewide work stoppages final 12 months in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Weekend negotiations between Denver’s 5,650-member lecturers’ union and the varsity district broke down over a pay scheme that the union says has sacrificed reliable cost-of-living wage hikes in lieu of restricted bonuses provided for educating in high-poverty areas and difficult school rooms.

The 2 sides stated they deliberate to return to the bargaining desk on Tuesday.

Within the meantime, all 207 faculties in Colorado’s largest college district remained open, staffed by substitute lecturers and administration personnel.

Tons of of lecturers weathered sub-freezing temperatures in Denver as they marched by way of snowy streets chanting and holding protest indicators. Putting educators and supporters later rallied on the state Capitol.

“There isn’t any information to assist that bonuses preserve lecturers at higher-need faculties,” stated Gerardo Munoz, 43, a social research instructor. His spouse, Claudia Munoz, 39, added, “I labored at one (higher-need college) and will have stayed, however I used to be overworked and underpaid.”


Denver Public Colleges Superintendent Susana Cordova stated the district had proposed a pay improve of practically 11 p.c subsequent 12 months, which might increase the common wage for lecturers to $61,000, from $55,000.

However Robert Gould, lead negotiator for the Denver Classroom Lecturers Affiliation bargaining staff, stated the district was inflating the true worth of its newest supply.

The dispute has centered on an incentive pay package deal containing bonuses for educators to show in hard-to-staff topics resembling math and science, or faculties in low-income areas, or who train in one in all a handful of “distinguished” faculties.

Directors say the so-called ProComp incentive system, paid for with particular funding permitted by native voters in 2003, is required to draw and retain high quality educators.

However union leaders counter {that a} concentrate on bonuses has led to increased instructor turnover. They’re in search of a extra conventional compensation package deal with the next base wage and built-in will increase for lecturers who additional their schooling, coaching and expertise.

Union and district negotiators deadlocked throughout a bargaining session on Saturday evening, setting the stage for the strike, the primary within the metropolis since a five-day walkout in 1994.

“We’re hoping they arrive to the desk tomorrow able to pay attention so we are able to get again to work, as a result of our lecturers wish to be within the school rooms with their youngsters,” Gould informed reporters.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Extra reporting by Jann Tracey in Denver and Gina Cherelus in New York; Writing and extra reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Modifying by Invoice Tarrant and Leslie Adler)

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