Denver Teachers Striking Against Arbitrary Pay System
02/13/2019 - On Monday, Feb. 11, over two thousand educators from the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) walked out of school, launching the first teachers’ strike in the city in over 25 years. The walkout follows 15 months of negotiations. The strike vote passed in January with over 93 percent of the workers in favor of the walkout.
The walkout is the latest education worker uprising, drawing strength from the many victorious strikes in the last year and a half. This movement is not only winning fair pay and better treatment for educators, but also securing strong education systems for the students as well.
The Denver teachers’ first goal is dismantling and restructuring the Denver Public Schools district (DPS) pay system. The base pay for teachers in Colorado is 46th in the country in terms of average teacher pay, leaving many teachers financially insecure and in need of side jobs to support themselves. Beyond base pay teachers are subject to an arbitrary bonus system of pay. The teachers are demanding an end to the current pay system, with the base pay raised.
DPS attempted to thwart the strike before it began, petitioning state lawmakers and Colorado governor Jared Polis to intervene.
As in other educator strikes, the students are rallying behind their teachers, showing up in full force on picket lines. Some are planning their own walkouts in solidarity.
The APWU National encourages members who are able to join the picket lines or show their support via social media with the hashtag #DCTAstrong. You can also donate to the strike fund.