WASHINGTON – Members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), the union that represents teachers at Denver Public Schools (DPS), have voted to authorize a strike in their ongoing negotiations with management. Recently, reports have surfaced of DPS engaging in an outrageous and despicable recruitment effort aimed at getting furloughed federal employees to take jobs as replacement workers.
“Instead of working to reach a fair deal with teachers, DPS management is engaged in an outrageous and disgusting attempt to exploit the financial hardship of federal workers suffering through the longest shutdown in U.S. history,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “DPS management should be ashamed of their despicable efforts to pit worker against worker in order to weaken teachers’ bargaining position.”
“No union member should ever cross a picket line, no matter their financial situation,” Cox said. “Our strength as a labor movement is in our solidarity, and management knows that. It’s why they pursue these kinds of disgraceful divide and conquer tactics.”
As the government shutdown has continued to drag on, AFGE has created page online with resources for impacted federal workers. The website helps workers find the nearest food bank, get access to a variety of services through the United Way and 2-1-1, receive relief from a variety of banks and lenders, and much more. The page can be accessed by visiting afge.org/shutdown and scrolling down to the “Resources for Financial Assistance” section for a list of available programs and information.
“I urge any federal employee who has been affected by this lockout/shutdown to take advantage of the many resources available to them on our webpage at afge.org/shutdown,” Cox said. “But we cannot and must not let management in Denver Public Schools manipulate federal workers’ hardship to bust a strike by Denver teachers who, along with teachers across the nation, have shown amazing solidarity with federal workers as we’ve been fighting night and day to end this lockout/shutdown.”