Denver teachers say they will strike Monday – NBCNews.com

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By Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Teachers say they will strike Monday after failing to reach an agreement on pay.

Both sides met Saturday in an attempt to reach a new contract after over a year of negotiations.

“Faced with a smoke-and-mirrors proposal that continues to lack transparency and pushes for failed incentives for some over meaningful base salary for all, the DCTA strike will commence for the schools Denver students deserve,” the Denver Classroom Teachers Association said in a statement.

The superintendent of Denver Public Schools says she’s disappointed the teachers union broke off negotiations Saturday night.

“Despite the union’s refusal to continue negotiating, we remain committed to working with the leadership of the DCTA to end this strike,” Superintendent Susana Cordova said in a statement.

In several statements posted Saturday night on its Twitter account, the Denver teachers union said the Denver Public Schools’ latest contract offer is not good enough.

The bargaining team issued a tweet saying: “We can do better.”

The disagreements are about pay increases and about bonuses for teachers in high-poverty schools and other schools that the district considers a priority.

The teachers want lower bonuses to free up money for better overall salaries. The district says the bonuses are key to boosting the academic performance of poor and minority students.

Some teachers say overall funding for support services in those schools is more important.

Teachers plan to picket schools around the city starting Monday. The district says schools will remain open during the strike and will be staffed by administrators and substitute teachers.

However, the district has canceled classes for 5,000 pre-schoolers because it doesn’t have the staff to take care of them.

The teachers’ union says 93 percent of participating members backed a strike in a vote last month.

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