State Labor Department Will Not Intervene in Denver Public Schools Labor Dispute

Date: February 6, 2019
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations - Cher Haavind at 303-318-8003

Labor Department says it will be watching closely as both sides return to the table

(DENVER) – The Department of Labor and Employment has today notified Denver Public Schools and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association that it will not intervene in the labor dispute.

On January 22, teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike but Joe Barela, the Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment, says that in the following weeks the two parties have reached a mutual understanding of the facts in the dispute and are now close to a resolution.

Instead of stepping in and perhaps driving a deeper wedge between the sides, the aim is to get everyone back to the negotiating table, find common ground and build from there.  “We strongly encourage both sides to use the days prior to a strike commencing to get to a resolution and finalize a contract,” Barela says. “We believe that a resolution is not only possible, but highly achievable, given how close the parties truly are.”

State law allows the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to assert jurisdiction at any time, if it is deemed to be in the interest of the state. Should the factors mentioned above change, or a strike occur or be needlessly prolonged due to bad faith or a breakdown of the current negotiations process, the state may need to assert jurisdiction to resolve the dispute.

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