DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver teachers strike and the government shutdown are two of the biggest stories happening in Colorado. Now those two worlds are colliding, creating an interesting opportunity for furloughed federal workers like Kaylie Rieger and Lacey Byrne.

Days away from missing yet another paycheck, Rieger is considering all of her options.

“It’s just you know mostly at this point kind of the uncertainty of what happens when the savings run out,” Rieger said.

Kaylie Rieger (credit: CBS)

“I love my job. I miss my coworkers, but my husband is a stay at home dad so right now we have an income of zero coming in right now,” Byrne said.

Lacey Byrne (credit: CBS)

Both are furloughed from their government jobs, and they are now looking for a way to make ends meet. That forced time off landed them at the first Denver Public Schools job fair ahead of a looming teacher’s strike.

DPS spokesman Will Jones says it is not an ideal situation for anyone.

“While we are still working as hard as we can to come to an agreement with the teachers union, our kids still need people in the classrooms,” Jones said.

In an effort to get qualified substitutes ready to step in if staff steps onto the picket line, they are increasing guest teacher pay to $212 to $250 a day, waiving fees and expediting the hiring process. Both Byrne and Rieger say while they are considerate of the mission teachers are on at the end of the day it comes down to what is best for their own families.

(credit: CBS)

“I support teachers 100 percent but I’m also aware there are students that do need to go to school and parents that do have to work,” Byrne said.

“I kind of understand the position they are in but at the same time I’m looking for my own paycheck,” Rieger said.

DPS will host two more hiring events open to everyone. The following will be the locations and hours:

NE Bus Terminal, 4937 Dallas St., Denver, 80238; Thursday and Friday, Jan. 24 and 25, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hilltop Bus Terminal, 2901 W 7th St., Denver, 80204; Thursday and Friday, Jan. 24 and 25, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Karen Morfitt

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