DPS, teachers union remain far apart as strike looms

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DENVER -- Teachers in Denver Public Schools walked in solidarity on Wednesday in their fight for better pay as a potential strike looms.

It comes as the district and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association take a break from negotiations on a new contract before resuming on Thursday.

Teachers met outside of South High School for a walk-in, walking into the school together to show solidarity.

The district and teachers union remain at odds over what they want.

Superintendent Susana Cordova said the district was disappointed the union didn't come in Tuesday with a counter proposal.

Instead, there was a heated debate between the sides that stretched for hours.

DPS and the union appeared to be gridlocked before district officials met in a closed-door session.

DPS is proposing to make cuts to administration and put $23 million toward teacher pay, translating to a 10 percent base salary increase.

But the union now wants $30 million and incentives for teachers while they pursue higher education.

"We came in ready to negotiate," Cordova said. "Negotiating is giving proposals like the one we gave on Friday. We are hopeful and anxious to see what the DCTA brings back as a counter proposal.

"We have made significant movement toward that middle ground and we are anxious to continue that work together."

Negotiations are expected to resume on Thursday and Friday before the teacher contract expires. The union has filed an intent to strike.

Cordova said if there is a strike, schools will stay open.

The last teacher strike in DPS was in 1994.

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