LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For the first time since 2015, the Clark County School District is raising the annual salary it pays starting teachers.
Starting pay will increase from $43,000 annually to $50,115, Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara announced on Tuesday.
It's part of a larger compensation agreement negotiated by the district and union leaders. Jara said that agreement would include retention bonuses and a health care deal for support staff.
For support staff, bonuses of $4,500 will be issued in addition to the health care deal, which the president of the Education Support Employees Association said would enable employees to not pay out of pocket for their health insurance renewal in September.
The district will also pay out $5,000 bonuses for all teachers not impacted by the pay increase, as well as administration and school police officers, Jara said.
The raises and bonuses amount to a $165 million investment authorized by the district's Board of Trustees for negotiations with the various unions representing district employees.
The district employs 42,000 people but "has not been fully staffed since 1994," Jara said.
"We needed to do something to raise our teacher salaries to be competitive," Jara said. The raise of approximately $7,000 "puts us above a lot of the districts in the west coast," he said. It will raise the salaries of 4,166 teachers already working in the district, the Clark County Education Association's president clarified.
Jara also mentioned that the district had recently raised pay for bus drivers and principals in its efforts to "look at what we need to do as a district to make sure that our workforce has been competitive."
"Every child in this school district deserves a highly compensated and quality teacher," Jara said. "We had to take a huge step forward in working together. This is, I would say, in the middle of our work in compensating our employees."
There could be more raises in the future, Jara hinted. He said this is an immediate step to attempt to fill vacancies, and negotiators expect to go back to the table and "look at all salary schedules" in the future.
Below is an email sent to Clark County Education Association members:
"To All CCEA Members,
Today, CCEA and CCSD reached a tentative agreement to address the recruitment and retention efforts regarding vacancies in CCSD. This agreement is conditional on drawing down one-time funds from the state.
In the Nevada 2021 Legislative Session CCEA played a primary role in getting AB 495 passed. It was the first time a tax on mining was passed, and that revenue would go directly to k-12 education. In that bill, there was an additional $200 million of federal relief money set aside for school districts to access. Today, CCEA and CCSD reached a tentative agreement to enhance recruitment and retention efforts for CCSD licensed professionals by utilizing that one-time money.
The salary schedule has been adjusted to increase the starting pay from $43,011 to $50,115 and to add an additional column that would put the top pay for an educator in CCSD at $101,251.
Now the Collective Bargaining Agreement will have a starting pay of $50,115 and a top pay of $101,251.
What does this mean?
- All educators on the salary schedule from Column I Step A to Step E will be moved to Step F at $50,115.
- All other educators shall receive a one-time bonus payment of $5,000 to be paid out in two equal payments at the beginning and end of next school year. Some may ask why a bonus and not an adjustment on salary for everyone. The answer is simple: it is one-time money and once it’s gone its gone. Our job in the 2023 Legislative Session is to secure more revenue so base salaries can be adjusted for everyone.
- All employees in Column I Step C to Step E shall receive a bonus in the amount of the difference between the increase in salary they received by being moved to Column 1 Step F and the $5000 bonus payment.
- All employees in Column VIII who are eligible for a column movement shall be placed on the new Column IX.
- The “opt-in” provision of the PGS will be eliminated. All employees who had not ‘opted-in’ or who opted out in the past may resubmit their 225 contact units towards a column advancement.
- The Spring Surplus will be eliminated next year
- Employees can donate up to 5 days of their sick time to the Sick Leave Pool and have until June 30th this year to do so.
- Article 18-9 i.e. using 100 accrued sick days to purchase 30th year of service shall be suspended from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2025.
- CCSD will make contributions to employee Health Savings Accounts for those on the Qualified High Deductible Plan at $500 for employee only and $1000 for employee and family."
This tentative agreement is conditional upon approval from the State and compliance with federal guidelines to use this one-time money. We will keep you posted on this process. The total value of this agreement is over $109 million.
The CCEA Team"