Teachers union, Denver Public Schools reach agreement to end strike

DENVER -- Denver teachers and the Denver Public Schools district reached an agreement early Thursday morning that will put an end to the strike that has put teachers on the picket lines since Monday.

The agreement between the two sides came after more than 19 hours of negotiations that started at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and lasted until around 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning.

It still must be ratified by the full union membership. More than half the district's teachers went on strike Monday after negotiations over pay broke down.

The agreement will invest an additional $23 million in teacher pay and includes an average base salary increase of 11.7 percent next school year followed by cost-of-living increases the following two years.

Teachers in the state's largest district can return to classrooms on Thursday or take an unpaid day off. Early Childhood Education classes, which have been put on hold during the strike, will remain closed on Thursday.

RELATED: View the full agreement

Prior to the strike and this compromise, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and DPS went through 15 months of negotiations as teachers fought for higher salaries and better overall funding for schools.

The strike affected about 71,000 students in the school district with some students reporting dysfunction in schools.

“This agreement is a win, plain and simple: for our students; for our educators; and for our communities,” Denver Classroom Teachers Association President Henry Roman, an elementary school teacher, said in a statement. "No longer will our students see their education disrupted because their teachers cannot afford to stay in their classrooms."

"This is a strong investment in our teachers--in both their base salary and the equity incentives," DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova said in a statement. "I'm very pleased we were able to reach a deal and in the collaborative way we worked together today."

"There was a recognition that we share many areas of agreement, and we worked hard to listen and find common ground on the few areas where we had different perspectives," Cordova said.

The strike was the latest action in a wave of teacher activism since last spring, when teachers walked off the job from Arizona to West Virginia.

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