No agreement between DPS, teachers union; negotiations to continue Saturday

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DENVER — Leaders with Denver Public Schools did not come to an agreement with the teachers union Friday night. Negotiations will continue at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Teachers are planning to strike beginning Monday.

The union representing teachers, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, has been negotiating with DPS for roughly 15 months. Discussions escalated in January, when the pay agreement between the union and district expired.

On Jan. 22, the DCTA voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike.

The union is seeking increased pay and a decrease on teachers’ reliance on one-time bonuses. The first major offer from DPS was a 10-percent increase in base pay. However, the DCTA said the offer did not go far enough.

On Wednesday, the state declined to intervene in the negotiations, clearing the way for a strike.

DPS described Friday’s discussions as productive.

“DPS shared a proposal, DCTA gave us feedback and we committed to return tomorrow to continue working. This is how we will avert a strike–by staying at the table to get an agreement,” DPS said via Twitter.

Meanwhile, the DCTA said very little progress was made Friday.

“We have bargained for 15 months and the district has just started discussing some of the fundamental components of our proposal. Unfortunately, the district proposal still falls significantly short,” it said in a statement from DCTA president Henry Roman.

The strike would be the first in the school district since 1994.

DPS is the largest school district in Colorado. In 2016, it enrolled about 92,000 students. It employs roughly 5,600 teachers.

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