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Pueblo teachers turn down second offer from district, classes ca - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo teachers turn down second offer from district, classes canceled Monday

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Pueblo District 60 announced Friday it is closing all schools Monday after the Pueblo Education Association turned down a second offer to avoid a teacher strike Monday.

The District said it offered a one-time stipend equal to 2 percent of teacher's salary paid in June 2018, a cost of living adjustment of 2.25 percent beginning in September as well as an additional $50 per month toward health insurance costs starting in September.

The Pueblo Education Association rejected that offer on Friday, saying it would only agree to a 2 percent cost of living adjustment retroactive to the start of the 2017-18 school year.

District 60 School Board President Barb Clementi commented on the pending strike Friday night saying it will hurt Pueblo students and the community.

“It’s a crisis now. Monday morning, it’s an even bigger crisis and every minute it goes on, it’s a crisis.” Clementi said.

The district said it will be offering free lunch for students from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Minnequa Elementary
  • Morton Elementary
  • Belmont Elementary
  • Eva Baca Elementary
  • Beulah Heights Elementary
  • Lucero Elementary
  • Rawlings Library

The meals will be provided to all children at no charge.

D60 went on to say in its statement that there is not sufficient funding in the budget to pay a retroactive cost of living adjustment as teachers requested. That's something the Pueblo Education Association doesn't believe.

Earlier on Friday, the president of the Pueblo Education Association released a statement Friday outlining what the teachers want approved.

  • Provide a 2% cost of living increase to all teachers for the current school year
  • Provide a 2.5% cost of living increase to all paraprofessionals for the current school year
  • Provide the step increase to paraprofessionals as outlined in their collective bargaining agreement
  • Provide the monthly $30 per person health insurance increase from January 1, 2018 to June 20, 2018
  • Educator and community voice is included in decision-making that impacts our classrooms and students

The district said it cannot meet the Pueblo Education Association's requests due to budgetary concerns. Seventy percent of union teachers rejected the first deal from D60, which offered a 2.25% cost of living raise, a one time payment equal to 1% of their salary, along with a $30 contribution for insurance.

Full letter to parents of District 60 students announcing cancellation of classes:

Pueblo City Schools’ Families:

We regret to inform you that all schools in Pueblo City Schools will be closed starting Monday, May 7 in response to a strike declared by the teacher and paraprofessional associations.  At this time we are unaware how long this school closure will need to remain in place.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this strike may cause your family.  We are disappointed that we are in this situation, however the safety of our students is our top priority.   

Our goal is to resume normal school operations as soon as we are able. If we are able to open all schools or individual schools on a case by case basis, we will notify you promptly. We will continue to provide frequent updates through our School Messenger calling system and through the news media.

During this school closure free lunches will be available from 11:30am - 12:30pm starting Monday, May 7 at the following locations:  Minnequa, Morton, Belmont, Baca and Beulah Heights Elementary.  Lucero and rawlings

Thank you for your support and understanding.

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