Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Denver teachers on Thursday were prepared to end their four-day strike after winning a raise that they say will combat high teacher turnover rates in the district, harming students' ability to learn. (Photo: @cnnbrk/Twitter)

Following Three-Day Strike, Denver Teachers Score Latest Victory in Nationwide #RedForEd Movement

"This agreement is a win, plain and simple: for our students; for our educators; and for our communities."

Julia Conley

After staging the country's ninth major teachers' strike in the past 12 months, teachers on Thursday scored the latest victory for their students, communities, and profession as they reached a tentative deal with the school district that they say will help combat the city's teacher turnover crisis.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) this week went on strike for three days, calling for changes to their compensation system which they say has been driving teachers away from the city as wages stagnate and housing grows more expensive.

After an all-night bargaining session, the DCTA and Denver Public Schools announced that they had reached an agreement that would send teachers back to their classrooms as early as Thursday afternoon.

"This agreement is a win, plain and simple: for our students; for our educators; and for our communities," DCTA President Henry Roman said in a statement. "No longer will our students see their education disrupted because their teachers cannot afford to stay in their classrooms."

Local politicians and the National Education Association (NEA) offered congratulations and thanks to the 2,600 educators who had walked out of their classrooms, for standing up for their profession and their students.

After 14 months of negotiations, Denver teachers voted to go on strike for the first time in 25 years, demanding higher base salaries and a more stable compensation system to replace the unpredictable bonuses which have been given out and sometimes taken away from year to year.

The agreement reached early Thursday will give teachers a seven to 11 percent raise, put in place a transparent salary schedule, institute cost-of-living raises, and do away with "exorbitant five-figure bonuses" for school administrators.

"Educators in Denver Public Schools now have a fair, predictable, transparent salary schedule. We're happy to get back to work," Rob Gould, DCTA's lead negotiator, told the Denver Post.

"Teachers will be able to stay in Denver, and we'll be able to keep our experienced educators here for our students," he told CNN.

As New York Times reporter Dana Goldstein wrote on social media, the Denver teachers's strike is part of a nationwide "social movement"—with similar walkouts having taken place in Los Angeles, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona in the past year.

In Oakland, California, teachers voted to authorize their own strike earlier this month. An independent fact finder is currently conducting an assessment of the district, with a potential walkout beginning after this week.

Oakland teachers also say low wages have caused difficulties with recruiting and retaining qualified teachers. Educators there earn just $46,500 to start and an average of about $63,000—in a city with the nation's fourth-highest cost of living.

The Oakland Education Association's (OEA) decision to strike sent "a clear message that our members are ready to fight for the schools our students deserve," union president Keith Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle. "This powerful vote is a mandate for smaller class size, more student support, a living wage, and it is a mandate to keep our neighborhood schools open."

As Denver teachers fought for their own students and schools this week, they also showed solidarity with Oakland teachers.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·

Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·

'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·

US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·

'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo