District, DPS teachers set to head back to negotiating table Thursday

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DENVER — Multiple sources have confirmed that Denver Public Schools teachers will resume negotiations with the District on Thursday.

Cory Kern with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association union told FOX31 “we’ve emailed back and forth with DPS letting them know we are available to bargain.”

Kern and Henry Roman, president of Denver Classroom Teachers Association, later confirmed that bargaining with the district is set to take place at 5 p.m. Thursday at the DPS Acoma building.

DPS spokeswoman Anna Alejo told  FOX31, “We look forward to returning to negotiations on Thursday.”

Denver Public Schools teachers voted overwhelmingly on Jan. 22 to strike, but that movement has run into numerous roadblocks in the following days.

“They’re striking for better pay, they’re striking for our profession, and they’re striking for Denver students,” lead negotiator Ron Gould announced on behalf of the teachers, 93 percent of whom voted for the strike.

Susana Cordova is the Superintendent for DPS, she says that, despite the strike, they are committed to reaching a common goal. “I remain very committed to working with our teacher association to reach an agreement. I think it’s in the best interest of our students, it’s certainly in the best interest of our teachers.”

In a surprise to both teachers and, apparently, Cordova, a human resources employee with DPS issued a threat to teachers with working visas. The message said that if those teachers chose to take to the picket lines, the district would report them to immigration.

Cordova quickly apologized to teachers and walked back the message that would affect 130 DPS employees working on visas.

“This was wrong. I cannot begin to express how shocked I was to learn of this message and how deeply sorry I am for the anxiety and fear this has caused our educators, our family and our community,” she announced to the media.

Denver teachers are not alone in their current fight for better funding; Los Angeles teachers who declared a victory after a six-day strike have added momentum to a successful wave of activism by educators framing their cause as a push to improve public education, not just get pay raises.

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