Denver teachers ask state to stay out of contract fight

DENVER — Denver teachers are asking the state to stay out of their contract dispute and allow them to strike.

The teachers’ union made the plea Monday in a response to the school district’s request that the Colorado labor department intervene in negotiations, a move which put a strike on hold.

The state usually doesn’t get involved in disputes unless both sides request it. However the head of the department can intervene if he decides it’s in the public interest and delay any walkout for up to 180 days.

The union says the state can’t help a relationship it says is in a “state of disrepair.” It also says the district is trying to intimidate teachers from participating in the strike.

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

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