By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) – Hundreds of Denver public college lecturers will stroll the picket traces for a 3rd day on Wednesday, disrupting lessons for about 92,000 college students after union and college district officers ended talks with no deal in sight, union officers mentioned.
Within the newest strike in a collection to hit U.S. public college techniques, the 5,650-member Denver Classroom Academics Affiliation seeks larger pay with a wage construction targeted much less on efficiency bonuses and extra on cost-of-living will increase.
The Denver labor dispute follows statewide trainer walkouts final yr in Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia, and a six-day strike in Los Angeles settled final month with a deal to chop class sizes and lift salaries by 6 p.c.
Talks in Denver broke down on Saturday, triggering the primary walkout by lecturers in Colorado’s largest metropolis since 1994.
The 2 sides returned to the bargaining desk on Tuesday, however late within the day a DCTA spokesman mentioned talks had ended for the night time and would resume at 10 a.m. Wednesday. He declined to touch upon whether or not a deal was shut.
No consultant of the college district was instantly accessible to remark.
The Denver Public Colleges district has mentioned its newest proposal would increase lecturers’ pay by practically 11 p.c subsequent yr, whereas the union has known as that determine inflated.
On Monday, Public Colleges Superintendent Susana Cordova informed reporters the district had already met lots of the lecturers’ calls for for simplifying their sophisticated pay construction.
“We have made actually important adjustments already,” Cordova mentioned. “Most of the issues I believe that we hear our lecturers complain about, really aren’t in regards to the proposal that we have placed on the desk, it is in regards to the present system. And lots of of these issues I agree with as nicely.”
District officers vowed to maintain all 207 faculties open via the strike, staffed by substitute lecturers and administration personnel. However on Tuesday the district mentioned it canceled pre-kindergarten lessons.
The so-called ProComp pay system on the crux of the strike was embraced by the union when it was instituted in 2005, touted as a means for lecturers to construct their salaries via a mixture of doable incentives.
These embody bonuses tied to scholar achievement and more durable educating assignments, similar to faculties in high-poverty areas.
However the union says ProComp, one of many longest-running trainer pay schemes of its variety within the nation, has as an alternative eroded trainer pay in a metropolis the place the price of residing has soared up to now 10 years.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday expressed help for the lecturers’ pay calls for and supplied to assist mediate the dispute.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Extra reporting by Jann Tracey in Denver and Gina Cherelus in New York; Writing and extra reporting by Peter Szekely in New York, Wealthy McKay in Atlanta and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Enhancing by John Stonestreet and Clarence Fernandez)