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DPS teacher strike blog: DPS, DCTA hopeful to reach agreement on third day of teacher strike

Posted at 6:20 AM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 07:49:08-05

DENVER — Late Tuesday night, Denver Public Schools and the teachers' union released a statement saying while they need more time to resolve outstanding issues, they are hopeful to end the strike soon. They will come back to the negotiating table Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Denver Public Library to continue discussions. We will post live updates to this blog.

DPS teacher strike blog: Day one
DPS teacher strike blog: Day two

More: What you need to know | How did we get to this point

2 a.m. — Conversations are ongoing still. Check out our live blog from day four.

11:30 p.m. — Important question raised inside the room as negotiators continue to sort through their differences: "Should teachers plan to return to class or continue the strike?" The answer? "It's still unclear at this time."

11:01 p.m. — Many teachers have left the building as DPS officials and DCTA continue to caucus well into late Wednesday evening.

7:51 p.m. — Both DPS officials and DCTA union members have walked out of the room to look over the salary schedule numbers proposed by each party.

5:42 p.m. — An agreement appears to be within reach. The union has taken a break to review the district's latest proposal, which Rob Gould called "big.” The proposal includes an average 11 percent raise next year for teachers. The audience clapped as the session adjourned to allow the union to caucus. Both sides are expected to return to the table later this evening.

3:26 p.m — We are still waiting for both sides to come back to the negotiating table. In the meantime, DPS says that teacher attendance for Wednesday was at 42 percent and student attendance was 75 percent.

1:56 p.m. — The mood in the negotiation room has continued to improve after the latest round of talks between the DCTA and DPS.

The DCTA showed graphs that outlined retention rates for about two-dozen of the highest-priority schools in the district and the bonuses they received over the past four years, arguing that the inconsistency shown on the graphs show that bonuses are not consistently working at those schools.

Cordova said that she agreed there are “lot of factors” going into what is driving retention and said the graph “captures the story of that complexity.” She said that increasing that retention was important to closing the opportunity gap.

Cordova also said that the district was formalizing more research with CU-Boulder about retention rates to understand why some schools have experience retention growth and others have not.

DCTA’s Rob Gould said that Cordova had “hit the nail on the head” regarding the district working with the union, and said the latest proposal from the union signaled they were open to doing so. He said with Cordova now in charge of DPS that he expected that relationship to improve.

This is actually the kind of conversation we should be having all the time; there’s so much we agree on,” Cordova responded. “We may have disagreements around the edges, but there is so much we agree on.” She said that it would be important in the future to find the right venues to have constant communications between the two sides and to work together rather than “just yelling at each other.”

The two sides are on another break as DPS reviews the union’s latest proposal.

Meanwhile, hundreds of teachers have gathered again at Civic Center Park for a rally to back the teachers and the union.

Denver teachers, district close to reaching deal after latest round of negotiations

1:36 p.m. — DCTA’s Rob Gould said that the union was open to the district’s incentive “because we know it’s important to you.”

“if we can get the base salaries that we need, we can keep teachers in Denver. These changes would stop the disruption to our students’ learning,” Gould said.

DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova says she is “really happy to hear” that DCTA is open to conversations.

“I think many of the things you are talking about are deeply, deeply, deploy important to solving the issues in the highest-priority schools,” Cordova says.

She draws applause from some teachers in the audience when she talks about some of the priorities she shares with the teachers involving high-priority schools.

1:08 p.m. — Negotiations between the DCTA and DPS have resumed. The teachers' union says they've been able to accept most of the language from the proposal DPS made Wednesday morning. They are going through small details of the deal at the moment. Watch live by clicking here or in the player below.

The two are still discussing bonuses versus base pay, which the DCTA has asked for. The DCTA representatives have said they have already accepted the district's plan for teachers with 10+ years of experience. The union says they believe their proposal falls within the ProComp contract and are discussing ways to help high-priority schools.

11:34 a.m. — Here are the 11 a.m. reports on Day 3 of the teacher strike from Denver7's Micah Smith and Eric Lupher.

DPS, DCTA negotiating Wednesday, hopeful to reach agreement on third day of teacher strike
Teachers continue to picket on Day 3 of Denver teachers' strike as sides work towards deal

11:11 a.m. — DPS teachers have a message for Superintendent Susana Cordova this morning: "We're better together."

10:51 a.m. — Denver Public Schools presented a new proposal to the DCTA around 10:30 a.m. that had several teachers in the audience at the Denver Public Library clapping. The union asked no questions about the latest proposal and the sides are taking a 30-minute break before coming back to the table.

DPS presents Wednesday morning proposal as sides hopeful to end teacher strike

On Wednesday morning, the two sides said in a joint statement they were moving closer to reaching a deal and that they were "hopeful that we will get to an agreement soon."

12:20 a.m. — In a joint statement released shortly after midnight Wednesday, DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova and DCTA President Henry Roman wrote that they worked in good faith Tuesday to find common ground on ProComp.

"We exchanged proposals that are moving us closer and are hopeful that we will get to an agreement soon,” the statement read. “However, we need a little more time to resolve the outstanding issues, and we will resume our negotiations tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at the Denver Public Central Library."

Just like Monday and Tuesday, DPS schools will keep schools open Wednesday. Preschools are canceled.