Union says Denver teachers will strike Monday after Polis declines intervention

DPS invites union back to the negotiation table
Posted at 2:38 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 14:51:12-05

DENVER — The union representing Denver teachers announced that educators would walk off the job Monday.

Wednesday’s announcement came right after Governor Jared Polis said the state would not intervene in contract negotiations between Denver Public Schools and the teachers union, hoping both sides will work through the weekend to come to an agreement.

"This represents an 11th-hour opportunity over the next few days for both sides to close the gap over these limited, remaining issues," Polis said.

However, a tweet from the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, the union representing teachers, sent just after the governor’s announcement proclaimed “FEBRUARY 11 WE STRIKE FOR OUR STUDENTS.”

The DCTA previously asked the state not to interfere and to allow a possible strike to proceed.

"No teacher wants to strike, we would rather be teaching students in our classrooms," Denver teacher and association President Henry Roman said in a statement. "But when the strike starts, we will be walking for our students."

Officials with DPS said they had invited DCTA back to negotiation table Thursday. DPS said they remain committed to reaching a resolution and views a strike to be not in the best interest of students.

In January, DCTA voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike.

The walkout has been on hold as the state decided whether to intervene at the school district's request. The labor department's involvement could have put a strike on hold for up to 180 days.

The main sticking point is increasing pay and lessening teachers' reliance on one-time bonuses.

The union represents 5,635 educators in the Denver Public School system.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.