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Denver teachers end strike, return to class with pay raises

DENVER — Denver teachers ended a three-day walkout Thursday and returned to their classrooms after their union reached a tentative deal raising their pay as much as 11 percent.

The deal was worked out in talks that lasted through the night and signed shortly before classes started, giving the teachers short notice and little time to get to their schools.

They were encouraged to return to their classrooms if they felt ready, even though the deal awaits ratification by the full union membership. It was not immediately clear how many chose to return to work.

At East High School near the city’s downtown, returning teachers were greeted with high-fives from security guards at the main entrance, and the educators expressed relief at the outcome.

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More than half the district’s teachers went on strike Monday after negotiations over pay broke down. The contract agreement gives teachers raises of 7 to 11 percent, built-in cost-of-living increases, and opportunities for future salary hikes. The key sticking point of variable bonuses for teachers working in tougher environments was put off to be studied later to try to determine if the bonuses help retain teachers in schools.

ASSOCIATED PRESS