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The Latest: Denver teachers back at work after 3-day strike

February 15, 2019
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Marial Villanueva, left, a teacher at College View Elementary School, stands in the bed of a pickup truck as fellow teachers load up boxes of Valentine's Day cards destined for school administrators as instructors march to Denver Public Schools headquarters Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, in Denver. Teachers walked off their jobs Monday, the first strike by teachers in Denver in 25 years. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — The Latest on the Denver teachers strike (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

Denver teachers are back at work after reaching a deal to raise their pay, ending a three-day strike.

Under a deal reached Thursday, the union said teachers would get a base pay raise of between 7 to 11 percent in the next school year and cost-of-living increases in the following two years. However, the district put the average increase at 11.7 percent next year.

The union agreed to raise bonuses for teachers working in low-income schools deemed the most challenging to $3,000 a year, despite believing that they weren’t preventing teacher turnover in those schools.

The strike was the latest action in a wave of teacher activism that began last spring in Arizona and West Virginia and, most recently, Los Angeles.

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11:45 a.m.

Denver teachers won higher base pay after striking for three days but compromised on incentive pay that was important to the school district.

The union agreed to raise bonuses for teachers working in low-income schools deemed the most challenging to $3,000 a year, despite believing that they weren’t preventing teacher turnover in those schools.

In exchange, the district agreed to team up on a study of why teachers leave those jobs and to revisit that bonus based on the results.

Denver adopted its incentive pay system, funded by a voter-approved tax hike, in 2005. Since then, more schools, districts and states have been experimenting with similar bonus pay for teachers.

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10 a.m.

Denver teachers are back in the classroom after their union reached a tentative deal raising their pay as much as 11 percent.

The deal ending the three-day strike was reached just before the start of classes Thursday. The negotiations lasted through the night, so many teachers had to rush to get to school in time.

Security guards gave teachers high-fives as they walked together into the city’s East High School.

Government and politics teacher Susan McHugh only had an hour’s notice before the start of classes. But she had a lesson plan ready from her experience. It is a discussion about the labor movement and collective bargaining.

Teachers were encouraged to return to class but can take another unpaid day off if they do not feel ready.

It’s not clear how many chose to return to work.

The contract deal also includes built-in cost-of-living increases and more opportunities for future salary hikes.

8:40 a.m.

Gov. Jared Polis is congratulating Denver’s teachers union and its school district for reaching a tentative agreement to end a three-day strike.

Denver Public Schools and teachers announced Thursday they have reached a deal that includes raising pay by up to 11 percent, built-in cost-of-living increases and more opportunities for future salary hikes.

The deal was announced after marathon negotiations. Union and district leaders encouraged teachers to return to their classrooms.

Polis says in a statement that “Denver’s kids are the biggest winners in today’s agreement.”

The governor had met with both sides in an effort to prevent the strike that began Monday.

The pact must be ratified by the full union membership.

The strike was the latest action in a wave of teacher activism that began last spring in Arizona and West Virginia and, most recently, Los Angeles.

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6:45 a.m.

Denver Public Schools and teachers have reached a deal to end their three-day strike that includes raising pay by up to 11 percent, with built-in cost-of-living increases and more opportunities for future salary hikes.

The deal was announced Thursday morning after marathon negotiations and encouraged teachers to return to their classrooms.

It still must be ratified by the full union membership. More than half the district’s teachers went on strike Monday after negotiations over pay broke down.

A key sticking point was a teachers demand that the system rely less on bonuses for educators in high-poverty and high-priority schools. The union says that question will now be studied.

The district sees bonuses as key to boosting the academic performance of poor and minority students.

The strike was the latest action in a wave of teacher activism since last spring, when teachers walked off the job from Arizona to West Virginia.

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This version corrects the time to 6:45 a.m., not 7:45 a.m.