DENVER – The rights of teachers to strike was affirmed today by Gov. Polis and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in the state’s decision not to intervene in the labor dispute between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Public Schools. Denver teachers and special service providers will begin their strike Monday, Feb. 11.
“No teacher wants to strike, we would rather be teaching students in our classrooms. But when the strike starts, we will be walking for our students,” said Denver teacher and DCTA President Henry Roman. “The district’s revolving door of teacher turnover must stop. DPS must improve teacher pay to keep quality, experienced teachers in Denver classrooms.
“DCTA remains committed to bargaining and reaching a deal with the district for a fair, predictable, competitive compensation system,” Roman continued. “It is incredibly disappointing that DPS has not yet taken our discussions at the bargaining table seriously. Now we will exercise our right to strike for the schools our students deserve, but we will listen when the district is ready to bring us a real proposal to consider.”
In DPS’s appeal for state intervention, the district attempted to argue a teacher strike would negatively affect the public interest. However, today’s decision acknowledges the overwhelming outpouring of support and affection the Denver community has for its teachers, seen at DCTA rallies and backed by reliable polling. A representative sample of more than 600 Denver voters in January revealed 82% of all voters sided with teachers over the school district in the ongoing labor dispute, with even higher support (89%) among parents of DPS students. Further, 62% of all voters favored a teacher strike, again with higher support (69%) among DPS parents.
“Gov. Polis recognizes the will of 93% of DCTA members who voted to strike. We are striking for our students so they may receive the very best education,” said Roman. “The governor understands our position that only DPS can mend its relationship with its teachers and special service providers, and that state intervention could not make a difference in a dispute that has dragged on for five years.”
Parents should check with their children’s schools to determine if they will remain open during the strike. “We encourage parents to make a decision on whether or not to send their children to school based on what they believe to be in the best interest and well-being of their children,” Roman added.
Details about the strike will be regularly updated at https://denverteachers.org/strike/