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

DPS will ask the state to intervene
Posted at 10:20 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 02:42:22-05

DENVER — Denver Public Schools reassured parents that school would be open after teachers voted Tuesday night to go on strike.

DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova said the district is committed to keeping schools open despite the possibility that thousands of teachers could walk off the job as early as Monday.

“We are committed to keeping our schools open and on normal schedules during a strike to support our students and their education,” said Cordova in a statement.

Watch Cordova make a statement after the strike vote was announced:

Cordova said she would request the Department of Labor and governor to step in and help bring both sides back to the negotiation table, which she said was successfully done both in 1990 and 1994 when DPS teachers voted to strike.

Cordova said they would have substitute teachers on hand if the state government declines to intervene and the strike proceeds.

The Denver Classroom Teachers' Association announced Tuesday night that 93 percent of unionized teachers voted in favor of a strike over what they say is inadequate compensation.

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

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.

DPS has set up a website to provide resources for families to help them plan for a strike. DPS said among the most important things parents can do to prepare for a strike is to ensure their student’s contact information is updated in the Parent Portal and that medication information is up-to-date. Questions can also be answered at the Family Helpline at 720-423-3054.