Labor Troubles at Denver’s Democratic National Convention

I devote my New York Sun column to the potential for labor strife in Denver.

“First, school teachers in Denver are militating for a new contract; the current one will terminate the Sunday following the convention. The local paper, The Denver Post, which ran a story with the sub-headline ‘A Teachers Contract Dispute Could Erupt During the Convention,’ is calling attention to the potential for chaos. According to the Post, the school administration and teachers are squabbling about teachers’ compensation.

Second, after decades of tranquility on the labor front, between now and November Colorado is the scene of a the contentious statewide battle between the ‘Right to Work’ initiative, backed by the business community, and several other initiatives supported by labor, drawn up in response to the measure.”

Ironically, Barack Obama had singled the Denver merit pay system out for praise when he announced his education plan in Manchester, NH back in November. For my column, I dug out Obama’s quotes at this event: “”Cities like Denver have already proven that by working with teachers, working with teachers — not doing things to teachers — this can work, that we can find ways to increase pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them and not just based on an arbitrary test score,” Mr. Obama said. “Where our teachers go above and beyond the call to make a real difference in our children’s lives, I think it’s time we rewarded them for it.”

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