D60 teachers prepare to strike on Monday

Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 20:20:44-04

Teachers Pueblo City Schools are one week away from likely going on strike.

The District 60 teachers and paraprofessionals are demanding raises and more insurance contributions after both were denied by the school board earlier this month.

Unless the district and the Pueblo Education Association can settle on an agreement without intervention from the state, they still have every intention to strike next week, beginning on May 7th.

"We are a week away from a strike," Bret Webster, Vice President of the Pueblo Education Association said.

This comes after the school board denied a two percent cost of living raise and more insurance contributions for teachers and paraprofessionals based 
on a fact finders report earlier this month.

"The culture of the school district has to change, teachers have to be at the table, their voice must be heard, we must be a part of the conversation and unless you’re at the table, you’re on the menu," Webster said.

Filing their intent to strike a little more than two weeks ago.

"We do know that their education may stop or be delayed for a certain about of time, but it’s rather folly for me to guess as to exactly how many days that would be, it could be a few hours or who knows," he said.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has until the end of Wednesday to intervene.

If they do, the strike will be delayed for 180 days and the state will step in to serve as a mediator in the negotiation process.

"We certainly want to respect the collective bargaining arrangement," Cher Haavind, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said. "So you always hope for a resolution such that the state doesn’t have to intervene and that’s certainly the case here as well."

Parents News 5 spoke with want teachers to know, they support them.

Cheri Baker has three kids in Goodnight Elementary School and she’s preparing for next week, now.

"So I was telling them ok, that doesn’t mean that we’re like starting summer break early, we’re still going to have to read and work on some math and keep up on our skills and I think that you should be doing those things anyways but now I think it’s going to be more imperative that you are prepared to do those things," Baker said.

For now, the teachers union is getting their signs ready and they still hopeful the district will change its mind before next Monday.

A spokesman for Pueblo City Schools said they are waiting until they hear back from the Department of Labor on if they plan to intervene before saying anything else, including what possible contingency plans may be.