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Colorado City Teachers Say They’ll Strike ‘As Long as It Takes’

May 18, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PUEBLO, Colo.—More than 2,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, and supporters marched through downtown Pueblo May 9, the third day of a strike by education workers in this city of 110,000. Their two unions, the Pueblo Education Association and the Pueblo ParaProfessional Education Association, are seeking a 2% cost-of-living increase plus $30 a month for health insurance, which the school board says it can’t afford. Teachers in Pueblo are paid significantly less than others in Colorado, and also say they lack proper supplies. “We both knew wholeheartedly that we were going to be out here for our kids for as long as it takes,” high-school English teacher Julie Cain, whose husband teaches fifth grade, told NBC News. “Sometimes we have old textbooks that are falling apart. We don’t have computers in our classroom.” The two unions tried to schedule negotiations for May 9 and 10, but were told the district’s bargaining team wouldn’t be available until the weekend. “Our fight is about making a better future for our teachers, our parapros, our students, our community,” PEA President Suzanne Ethredge told the Pueblo Chieftain. “But apparently, that’s not a priority for the district.” Read more

May 18, 2018

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