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A collective sigh of relief from parents and educators after CCSD teacher strike is averted

Posted at 11:36 PM, Aug 28, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Wednesday evening the teachers union and the Clark County School District reached a deal avoiding what would been the first and only teacher strike in Nevada history.

Less than a week after the governor stepped in and blasted Clark County School District leadership for bringing the state to the brink of its first ever teacher strike; the district and the teachers union reached a deal. Gov. Steve Sisolak joined both sides in making the announcement.

"I see teachers committed to their students. I see students who love their teachers. I see principals who show up early and stay late,” Gov. Sisolak said. “And I see endless potential in our schools."

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"We struck a deal that we feel meets the needs of 18, 800 educators, addresses a long-standing issue that is a commitment to improving our practice.” said Clark County Education Association President John Vellardita. “So, we can have the best teachers in our classroom to teach 320,000 kids not always under the best circumstances or the right class sizes.”

For days that agreement hinged on what's called column movement pay for thousands of teachers who pursued higher degrees or other professional development courses in order to get a promised pay raise.

The deal includes a 3% salary increase, 2% step increase for this year and the next, a 4% increase in health insurance premiums per month and column movement pay for this year and the next.

Barbara Thorne is a 4th grade teacher at Wolff Elementary School in Henderson.

"We took a lot of classes in order to get credits that we needed in order to advance on the pay scale. And then when they said they weren’t going to honor that we were just dumbfounded."

But now Thorne is relieved.

"No one wanted to strike. No one that I knew wanted to strike."

And so are CCSD parents.

"We need to pay our teachers what they're worth,” said Deangelo Hagans. “And that way our children can go to school and be educated by people who are motivated to be there.”

"The deal as presented is a fair deal for our educators who have the largest impact in student achievement,” said Superintendent Jesus Jara.

What hasn’t been revealed is how CCSD reworked its budget in order to meet the union’s demands.