DENVER- After 15 months of negotiations, Denver teachers walked off the job Monday morning.
‘Both sides have the same philosophy for teacher retention but we don’t know how to get there,’ said Elise Lucero- Fredrick, a teacher at Lincoln High School in Denver.
The day began with rallies and protests outside various schools.
In the afternoon, teachers packed outside the steps of the state capitol, where organizers said about 3,800 teachers participated in Monday’s strike.
Denver Public Schools (DPS) have hired substitute teachers while teachers are on strike.
‘It’s compromise, it’s time at the table it’s time talking, it’s let’s be on the same page and let’s make sure that we’re fighting for the same things,’ said Lucero-Fredrick.
Monday’s rally outside the capitol showcased glittered signs with statements both witty and serious.
Teachers spoke to the crowd demanding change for how teachers are paid in Denver.
For Lisa Yemma, a middle school science teacher with Denver Public Schools, she says she believes the district can do better.
‘We know that our district has money, we know that we’re bloated at the top,’ said Yemma
In southern Colorado, the concept of teacher strikes is all too familiar- with Pueblo’s District 60 teachers walking off the job not too long ago.
Henry Roman, President of Denver Classroom Teachers Association says the Pueblo Education Association has been a resource for Denver in preparing for the strike.
‘It’s fantastic because they have actually gone through this experience,’ said Roman.
If the strike lasts until Friday, many Pueblo educators plan to picket alongside Denver’s teachers to show their support.
‘They’re open arms willing to share that with us and we’re so thankful,’ said Roman.
Tuesday morning Denver educators will return to the bargaining table with district administrators.