NewsCovering Colorado


Like father, like daughter: family strikes together twice

Posted at 6:06 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 20:37:57-05

DENVER- The strike continued for teachers in Colorado’s largest school district on Tuesday, as educators demand higher pay.

Denver Public Schools (DPS) teachers are asking for an increase in pay, and after 15 months of negotiations, the strike began this week.

Teachers want to see an increase in base pay, but they believe administrators are focused on bonuses to increase pay.

A similar situation unfolded in Pueblo last May, when District 60 teachers walked off the job for a full week.

Which for Jeff Kleiner, who attended Tuesday’s strike is all too familiar.

Kleiner teaches at Pueblo South High School, and when he and his colleagues went on strike last spring- his daughter was hired on as a teacher in Denver.

‘I remember a lot of the same things we went through last year,’ said Kleiner, ‘hitting street corners, some of the chants are even the same.’

Kleiner’s daughter Rachel joined her father on the picket lines in May, back then she didn’t imagine she would be in a similar position months later.

In May of 2018, Rachel Kleiner joined her father on the picket lines as he protested with his district 60 colleagues.(photo courtesy Jeff Kleiner)

‘Although it’s a bigger district and it’s a larger district, we need all the momentum across the state to support us,’ said Rachel Kleiner.

Seeing her dad alongside her, wasn’t a surprise. Rachel says the only surprise was that he didn’t make the trip up on Monday to picket.

However, among sharing the experience with her dad- she says having a veteran teacher like him is important all throughout the state.

‘I look across my school and I see first-year teachers, and so that just tells me that the district is not retaining veteran teachers and that affects me, I’m not learning from veteran teachers and that affects the kids,’ said Kleiner.

Her father, remains concerned about her career.

‘She’s where she belongs, at least in the field of education, now I’m not sure she has much of a future in DPS,’ said Kleiner ‘I’m not sure that she can afford to stay.’

The negotiations continue between Denver’s teacher’s union and district administrators.

On Tuesday, teachers and administrators met for hours in hopes of finding a solution.