Denver Teachers’ Strike Ends after Three Days

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. stand in / ˈstændˌɪn / (phrasal) – to take the place of someone for a period of time

    For the meeting, Ms. Jones had to stand in for the principal since the principal was absent.

  2. middle ground / ˈmɪdl̟ graʊnd / (idiom) – an area of agreement between two different opinions

    The engineer and the architect couldn’t find a middle ground in their plans for the house.

  3. bargaining / ˈbɑɚgənɪŋ / (n) – a discussion between two opposing sides done in order to reach an agreement

    The teachers and the school administration will resume bargaining today to decide whether teachers’ salaries will increase this year.

  4. cut back / ˈkʌtˌbæk / (phrasal) – to lessen

    Teachers have to cut back on personal expenses because of their low salary.

  5. collaboratively / kəˈlæbərətɪvli / (adv) – characterized by working together

    The two teams collaboratively worked on the project.


Read the text below.

A teachers’ strike in Denver, Colorado, finally ended following a tentative agreement between school district officials and the teachers’ union.

In early February, more than 2,000 teachers in Denver’s public school district went on strike for three days. This resulted in some preschool classes being canceled, substitutes standing in for absent teachers, and the district losing over $400,000 for each day of the strike.

The Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association’s failure to find a middle ground on compensation caused the demonstration. Previous bargaining between the two parties had been unsuccessful before, pushing the teachers to go on strike until the DPS finally agreed to some requests of the teacher’s union.

The final details of the agreement were not revealed. However, it was disclosed that the DPS would add $23 million in teacher compensation, which means increasing the base salary by 11.7%. Annual bonus for teachers in low-income schools would also increase to $3,000.

The school district agreed to eliminate the bonus of senior school administrators and to cut back 150 jobs in the district’s central office to accommodate the budget for the teachers’ extra pay.

Both the school district and the teacher’s union were satisfied with the results of the agreement. Many teachers were delighted by the outcome of the strike, with some expressing excitement over the salary increase. DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova also said that she was pleased with how the union and the school district officials collaboratively worked to reach an agreement. She added that the agreement would be an important investment in Denver teachers.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it was reasonable for the teachers to hold a strike considering its effects (e.g. cancelation of classes)? Why or why not?
• How do you think would the people affected by the agreement (e.g. senior school administrators who would lose their bonus) react to this? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Aside from organizing a strike, in what other ways can teachers tell officials about their needs?
• Should teachers who are unsatisfied with their working conditions simply take on another job? Why or why not?