LOS ANGELES — Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers returned to work Wednesday after voting to ratify a contract, ending a six-day strike at the nation’s second-largest district.
‘‘Great! It can’t be better!’’ said Helen Han, a kindergarten Mandarin language teacher in Chinatown. ‘‘I wasn’t really worried because the parents were totally behind us.’’
The Los Angeles teachers headed back to work a day after Denver teachers voted Tuesday to go on strike after more than a year of negotiations. While Colorado teachers have the right to strike, state officials could delay the walkout by up to 180 days.
In Los Angeles, teachers and administrators greeted students with smiles, hugs, and high-fives. The return followed days of marches and picketing and a marathon bargaining session that led to a ratification vote Tuesday.
The deal includes a 6-percent pay hike and a commitment to reduce class sizes.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, accompanied by union and school officials, called it a ‘‘historic agreement’’ that will usher in a ‘‘new day’’ for public education in the city.