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Denver teachers vote to strike; thousands could walk off the job as early as Monday

DPS says it will request the governor to step in
Posted at 9:32 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 09:11:36-05

DENVER — By an overwhelming majority, teachers in the state's largest school district voted to go on strike over what they say is inadequate compensation.

Thousands of Denver Public School teachers could walk off the job as early as Monday after months of negotiations failed to bring the two sides together.

The results of two days of voting by members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association was announced Tuesday evening outside the Knights of Columbus building at 1555 Grant St. More than 90 percent of unionized teachers voted to authorize the strike.

Watch the announcement below:

The union has been trying to negotiate a new pay structure with Denver Public Schools, but the two sides are still more than $8 million apart.

One of the major sticking points is bonus money. The district said it wants to continue paying teachers who work in hard-to-staff schools more money. But the union said it wants those financial resources redistributed to build up the base pay for every teacher.

The current proposal from DPS would raise teacher salaries on average by 10 percent, but some teachers said that is still not enough.

While teachers have the right to strike in Colorado, the state reserves the right to intervene, although it can't force either side to do anything. If the state steps in, the walkout could be delayed by up to 180 days, past the current school year.

DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova said she will request the governor to step inand help bring both sides back to the negotiation table. She said they will have substitute teachers on hand If the state government declines to intervene and the strike proceeds.

Tuesday’s voting results mark the district's first strike in 25 years.

Read more: DPS reassures parents 'school will be open' after teachers vote to strike

This is a developing story. Stay with Denver7 for updates.