Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Denver teachers strike ended early Thursday morning after a marathon meeting between the school district and the teachers union.
The agreement to end the three-day strike includes raises between 7 percent and 11 percent for reachers, a transparent 20-step salary schedule and full cost of living increases in the second and third years of the agreement. The new deal allows teachers to take free in-district courses to advance their education as they move up the salary ladder. It also ends bonuses for senior district administrators.
"We are recommending now to our members that we officially end the strike," Rob Gould, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, said.
Superintendent Susana Cordova, who accepted the union's offer at 5:30 a.m., said teachers are welcome back in the classroom Thursday.
"If you want to come in, as soon as you can, come in," she said. "We'd love to have you back in the schools."
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said everyone is relieved the strike is over and teachers can get back to work.
"Denver's kids are the biggest winners in today's agreement," Polis said.
More than 2,600 Denver teachers picketed in the streets during the strike along with supporters and some students. It was the first time in 25 years that teachers in the district, the biggest in the state, have gone on strike.
About 60 percent of the teachers in the district belong to DCTA. School remained in session despite the teacher strike. Substitutes and administrators filled in throughout the district. The exception were pre-school classes, which were canceled altogether.