Pueblo Education Association rejects District 60 offer to avoid - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo Education Association rejects District 60 offer to avoid teacher's strike

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Pueblo teachers have rejected the district's offer to avoid a teacher's strike starting next Monday.

District 60 Spokesperson Dalton Sprouse responded to the decision in a written statement Thursday evening, saying: 

"This news is extremely frustrating and unfortunate for our employees especially considering the good faith efforts we put forward earlier today. We feel like this was an extremely fair offer in light of our current financial constraints and we truly hope this decision represents the sentiments of their entire membership."

Suzanne Ethredge, president of the Pueblo Education Association told News 5's Lena Howland the offer to resolve the dispute wasn't enough.

"Two percent on our salary schedule carries forward and allows us to be more competitive in recruiting and retaining highly-qualified teachers," Etheredge said. "A one percent stipend is just exactly that. It's a one-time payment."

A letter from Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso to the teacher union Thursday morning said she was prepared to recommend to the School Board a one time payment equal to 1 percent of their salary paid to teachers in June 2018. The district would said it would then provide a cost of living adjustment equal to 2.25% of salary for the 2018-2019 school year and a $30 increase in the District's contribution to the cost of health insurance for next school year.

"It's just not enough. It won't go forward in any way," Etheredge said.

Etheredge said the district needs to come closer to the two percent cost of living adjustment and an additional $30 for insurance.

Teachers were originally asking for a 2 percent cost of living increase as well as health insurance contribution, however, they were asking that it take effect this year.

The district's offer also includes reinstating the D60's master contract with the teacher union for the 2018-2019 year and that the district enters into a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines changes brought about by the move to a four-day work week.

On Wednesday, the Department of Labor said it would not intervene in a strike. Teachers have said they will picket on Monday. 

Read our prior coverage here:

D60 teachers move forward with strike after state doesn't intervene

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