D60 teachers meeting with the administration underway - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

D60 teachers meeting with the administration underway

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On Day 6 of the teachers strike in Pueblo, an end may be in sight.

The board has tentatively authorized D60's latest offer to go to a final digital vote possibly ending the strike Sunday.

District 60 leaders and union representatives are currently meeting in Pueblo. After some constant back and forth, the Pikes Peak Education Association put out an offer of a $500 stipend to be paid on June, two steps movement in September, 3.25% COLA in September, $50 monthly insurance contribution, two days of strike to be used as leave, and three days of strike amnesty. 

District 60 has come back with an offer of 2% COLA retroactive to January of this year, two days of the strike can be used as leave time, three days amnesty, 2.5% COLA for 2018-19 school year, $50 monthly health insurance contribution for 2018-19 school year. 

A decision is expected to be made soon. 

The teachers union and D60 went into their fourth private caucus Saturday afternoon following the district's offer of two days of annual leave and three days amnesty for the week of the teachers strike in hopes of reaching a deal.

For rallying teachers in Pueblo City Schools, their voices may have been heard.
"This feels like it might be at least a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel which is good," Suzanne Ethredge, President of the Pueblo Education Association said.

This comes after receiving an offer from district administrators that they're describing as "worthy of discussion" without disclosing specific details.

That's after missing a full week of class for teachers and students.

"At this point, it's a lot more than money that's on the line here and this is history that we're making here and we want to make sure that we're on the right side of it," Quinn McNierney, a teacher at Irving Elementary? School said.

"60 needs the same respect that we get in 70 and that's why we're out here today," Rebecca Hogan, a teacher in District 70 and Vice President of the Pueblo County Education Association said.

Pueblo County teachers and administrators used their day off to join the picket lines.

"We're one community here in Pueblo so we support each other," Ed Smith, Superintendent of Pueblo County District 70 said.

While more than 1000 people marched outside of Pueblo City Schools, Smith says, this is a much bigger issue than just Pueblo.

"It's definitely a state-wide funding issue, schools are struggling and I know that we're making it work, we're making it work in District 70, we're trying to, but we do not have the appropriate funds to do the appropriate things that we need to in the classroom, our teachers need to be paid more," he said.

And that's a possibly for these teachers, as the district and the union come together on Saturday morning.

"We're hopeful that things are going to get settled in our favor, we have the community's support, we're all anxious to get back to our kids, we miss our students," Amber Wiseman, a teacher at Irving Elementary School said.

No further comments from District 60 were given on Friday.

The Pueblo Education Association says even if both sides can come to an agreement on Saturday, union members will still have to take a vote after the meeting. But they hope to have teachers back in the classroom on Monday.

News 5's Lena Howland will be sitting in on that meeting and will have a full report on KOAA at 9 p.m.

Download the KOAA News 5 App iOS/iPhone here and for Android here.

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