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Meetings continue past midnight in hopes of agreement to end teachers strike

Negotiations and the strike continue.

DENVER — Feb. 14 - 12:00 a.m. - THE LATEST 

It remained unclear as of 12:00 a.m. Thursday morning whether a strike agreement between Denver Public Schools and the DCTA would be reached before a fourth day of striking began, as meetings at the Denver Central Library stretched into their 14th hour.

After beginning negotiations on the third day of the strike at 10 a.m. Wednesday, both the district and the teachers union were meeting separately late Wednesday night. A spokesperson for the union’s bargaining team could not say when the two sides would return to the negotiating table in the library’s basement, or what the school day would look like on Thursday.

Earlier, a DPS spokesperson told 9NEWS that unless parents hear otherwise by Thursday morning, early childhood education classes would still be closed Thursday but other DPS schools and classes would be open. It also remained unclear whether teachers would be on the picket lines Thursday.

The union team’s spokesperson told the few remaining teachers and media members in the negotiation room, including 9NEWS, that discussions about reaching a deal were still ongoing and there was no ETA for an announcement about an agreement or a fourth day of striking.

Feb. 13 - 10:14 p.m. 

As negotiations enter a 12th hour, it's still not clear if a deal will be reached before Thursday morning. 

A DPS spokesperson told 9NEWS that unless parents hear otherwise, early childhood education will still be closed Thursday, but other DPS schools will remain open. 

Feb. 13 - 9:33 p.m. 

Feb. 13 - 7:54 p.m. 

In the latest meeting between both sides, the district agreed to meet the union at $2,000 regarding longevity raises for teachers who can't move a lane (salary bumps). The district had previously offered $1,500 for teachers with 10 years of service. 

The district also agreed to meet the cost of living increase for the small amount of teachers who are above the salary schedule. 

Feb. 13 - 7:15 p.m. - 

It appears that DCTA and DPS are coming closer to reaching a deal and ending Denver's first teacher strike in 25 years. 

"We see how far you all have moved," Lead negotiator Rob Gould said to the district following their latest proposal. "And in an effort to get a deal tonight, were accepting your lanes and your steps." 

Union leaders then asked the district to reconsider the “hold harmless clause” – essentially how the pay schedule will catch up to teachers who are currently above or off it.

Feb. 13 - 5:57 p.m. 

Both sides returned to the bargaining table once again. This time, DPS presented a new proposal that more closely aligned with what the union has requested in terms of base pay. 

"This is big," Rob Gould, DCTA's chief negotiator, said of the latest proposal.  

The teachers union is now back in caucus discussing the latest proposal. 

Feb. 13 - 5:05 p.m. 

While DPS and teachers union leaders continue to caucus, the below tweets show how some of the teachers are passing the time. 

Feb. 13 - 3:50 p.m. 

Denver Public Schools spokesperson Will Jones says that Wednesday's teacher attendance was at 42 percent, and student attendance was at 75 percent. Those percentages are similar to attendance reports on Monday and Tuesday.

Feb. 13 - 1:45 p.m. 

According to Kelly Ragan with the Fort Collins Coloradoan, DCTA is currently arguing that ProComp incentives don't help retention rates of teachers - not with low-performing schools. 

Prior to that, Rob Gould, DCTA's chief negotiator, said that the union was open to the incentive for teachers at high-priority schools because it was important to the district, Ragan reported.

Superintendent Susana Cordova said she's glad DCTA is open to the idea.

Feb. 13 - 1:20 p.m.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association said it agreed with a large portion of the district's language in its latest proposal. 

It appears a deal might be on the horizon, but conversations are continuing. 

Feb. 13 - 12:30 p.m. 

Negotiations continue...

Feb. 13 - 11 a.m.

Negotiations - like they have been for the last two days - are ongoing. Watch a livestream at the top of this article.

The district negotiators just finished explaining their latest proposal to snaps and cheers from the teachers in the room. Negotiations are being held again at the Denver Central Library off 14th Avenue near downtown.

The union will now caucus for half an hour or so. No word on if this will end the strike at this time.

Feb. 13 - 10 a.m.

The moment a deal is reached, you'll know. Negotiations are about to begin again. 

Feb. 13 - 8:35 a.m.

Teachers move on from East High during the third day of the strike as negotiations are set to continue at 10 a.m. In a statement sent out after midnight after a full day of discussions, the district said its negotiators and the union's were close to reaching a deal.

Feb. 13 - 8:15 a.m.

Feb. 13 - 7:30 a.m.

Background on teachers who also coach sports at DPS during the strike:

On Tuesday night, as union negotiators and district negotiators inched closer and closer to a deal that would require a press release after midnight when no deal was reached, the Thomas Jefferson High School basketball team played without their coach.

Teachers on strike cannot coach or participate in other district extra-curricular activities, according to a spokesperson for DPS.

Thomas Jefferson took on George Washington High School on the court Tuesday night with a freshman coach and an unpaid volunteer because three other coaches are out striking.

MORE | Striking teachers can't coach

Feb. 13 - 5 a.m.

In a joint statement after midnight, the Denver Public School Superintendent and president of the union released a joint statement.

It read in part, "We exchanged proposals that are moving us closer and are hopeful that we will get to an agreement soon. However, we need a little more time to resolve the outstanding issues" 

Negotiations are scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Denver Public Central Library.

After hours of back and forth negotiations on Tuesday, no deal was reached between Denver Public Schools and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Both sides spent much of the day in separate rooms at Denver Central Library mulling over each sides proposals and counterproposals. 

By 10:45 p.m., both sides agreed to call it a night and resume talks on Wednesday. 

"I think this is so important that we need to make sure that we get it right.” DCTA lead negotiator Rob Gould said. “We’re gonna work really hard to get this done as soon as possible.”

Both sides agreed it was a productive day of negotiations.

"I want to share my appreciation of how much real progress was made today. It was a productive day," DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova said. "We can certainly see a pathway to getting to an agreement.”

Denver teachers are now expected to strike for a third day. DPS officials said all schools will remain open on Wednesday. 

9NEWS will continue to provide updates on the strike and the latest developments with negotiations throughout the day on Wednesday. 


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