A few teachers from Colorado Springs School District 11’s union joined the picket lines in Pueblo Tuesday to stand in solidarity with teachers and paraprofessionals who went on strike on Monday, according to Colorado Springs Education Association President Kevin Vick.
Teachers from Cherry Creek, Aurora and Adams 12 Five Star public school districts also made the trip to take part, as well as staff from the Colorado Education Association, a statewide teachers’ membership and advocacy group.
Individual educators had to take personal time off from their jobs to be part of the action, said Amie Baca-Oehlert, CEA vice president.
“What that does primarily is let the people that are actually on the strike line know they have support and there are other educators across the state who believe they are doing the right thing to stand up for their students and the profession,” Baca-Oehlert said. “Also to ensure the district knows this isn’t just Pueblo -- you’re sending a message to the entire education profession about the value of educators and show when something is done to one, it can impact all.”
Other labor unions also contributed to the effort with food and water delivered to strike sites, including the police union, firefighters, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, steel workers and the Southern Colorado Labor Council.
Teachers in Pueblo School District 60 are dissatisfied with salary and compensation offers from district officials, who say they don’t have any more money to offer than what’s on the table.
Baca-Oehlert said three times an independent fact-finder ruled the district does have the resources to provide the educators what they’re asking for.
“This isn’t teachers saying we know you have the money; an independent person has come to the conclusion the district should be providing this to the employees,” she said.