After a week of would they/wouldn’t they, Denver Public School teachers officially begin their strike today. Fortunately for working families, the district plans to keep schools open. Unfortunately for kids, that means that they’re being taught by subs who typically keep kids entertained by popping in a movie or some other non-essential activity that doesn’t actually lead to learning.
The strike was sealed after union leaders and district leaders (read: union leaders) couldn’t come to an agreement after a last-minute effort to avert a strike on Saturday. What’s really disturbing is that the district made significant concessions, but the real sticking point for the union seemed to be giving teachers who taught at challenging schools bigger bonuses. What?!? Here’s an excerpt from Denverite about the negotiations breakdown:
“The Denver school district offered what Superintendent Susana Cordova called a significant proposal, just minutes before Saturday’s bargaining session was originally scheduled to end.
“She said she had decided to eliminate performance bonuses for executive staff and cut even deeper into administrative expenses, eliminating 150 central office jobs. Teachers cheered the announcement, standing and clapping.
“But when she said the money from the executive’s performance bonuses would be put into increasing a bonus for teachers working in schools identified as a highest priority to $3,000 — a bonus the teachers union has been trying to decrease — the mood in the room changed again.”
While the union essentially called the proposal a distinction without a difference, the district accused the union of moving the goalposts. Regardless of who’s at fault, the real losers here are Denver’s kids. But, don’t worry, PeakNation™, it’s all for the kids, according to the union.