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Park County teachers plan to strike Monday after negotiations break down

The union received legal clearance to strike from the state Department of Labor and Employment in late September and set an official strike date of Oct. 14

A scene in rural Park County, near Kenosha Pass, on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado

Teachers in the Park County school district are poised to strike Monday after negotiations with the district failed to yield an agreement.

If members of the South Park Education Association walk off the job, it will be the third teacher strike in Colorado in less than 18 months. This is the latest in a wave of teacher activism that has swept the nation and also has Chicago teachers on the verge of walking off the job.

District and union representatives met Wednesday and Thursday, the first formal talks since Aug. 23. Both sides characterized Wednesday’s meeting, which focused on various aspects of the contract or professional agreement, as productive. On Thursday, union members pushed to return to the question of salaries, which the district does not want to debate. And that’s where things ended.

The union has worked out an agreement with the local Boys and Girls Club to care for children whose parents don’t want to send them to school during the strike and collected food donations to provide meals. Teachers plan to rotate between the picket line and the Boys and Girls Club. The state teachers union, the Colorado Education Association, is collecting money for a strike fund.

The union received legal clearance to strike from the state Department of Labor and Employment in late September and set an official strike date of Oct. 14 earlier this week.

Read more at chalkbeat.org.