FAIRPLAY, Colo. – Teachers will return to the classroom Thursday in Park County, ending a 10-day strike over compensation.
“I am proud to go back to my classroom tomorrow after spending ten days fighting for my students’ futures,” said SPEA President Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher. “I know all SPEA members share my enthusiasm to see our kids again and continue the critical work we do to help all students learn, grow and reach their full potential.”
On Tuesday, the South Park Education Association (SPEA) – through the Colorado Education Association – filed a request for director inquiry with the Colorado Department of Labor to have an independent, third-party factfinder examine Park County School District finances.
Should the Department of Labor accept the request, the inquiry “may fulfill he long-held desire of SPEA and the community to gain financial transparency from the District and confirm whether or not millions of dollars are held in reserves that PCSD could use to increase educator pay and promote staff stability,” the union said in a news release.
Mastrobuono said the district will have a new school board on Nov. 21, stating they’re optimistic for a fresh and productive start with them.
She also said the union is ending the strike and returning to work without a professional agreement for now but will prepare to negotiate with the new school board for a “fair, competitive compensation packaged informed by state findings.”
“The fight for our students’ futures continues and I’m confident we’ll return to the bargaining table in the not-too-distant future to chart a course for success for all students and better days for our community,” said Mastrobuono.