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Teachers union steps up strike threat despite raise offer from CCSD

Posted: 6:52 PM, Aug 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-17 02:22:53-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After months of negotiation, the Clark County School District announced Friday that the Board of Trustees would consider a raise offer for all licensed employees at their Aug. 22 board meeting.

The offer included a 3% raise in the 2019-2020 school year, step increases for eligible employees over the next two school years, and a 4% increase in CCSD's contributions to the district's medial plan over the same period.

This is the most significant increase in compensation and benefits proposed for our employees by the district in over a decade," a CCSD statment read.

"It is the hope of CCSD that all bargaining units will accept this financial proposal and allow the District to provide the additional financial compensation to all of our employees that was funded during the legislative session and promised to our employees."

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In response, Clark County Education Association Executive Director John Vellardita said the offer was unacceptable and stepped up threats for a district wide strike.

Vellardita said the offer didn't include union demands to address step up pay lost in previous years, so called "Column Movement" pay adjustments, and adjustments to the amount of money employees pay into their own retirement fund.

Vellardita said CCEA's executive board would meet over the weekend to discuss steps toward calling a strike, despite teacher strikes being illegal in Nevada.

"I don't think that the situation here in Nevada is any different than any of the states that saw hundreds of thousands of educators say enough is enough, and they walked," he said. "In each and every one of those cases it wasn't legal to strike so it's no different here."

CCSD said it made the same verbal proposal to the Education Support Employees Association and their leadership had a warmer response to the proposal.

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In a statement, ASEA President Virginia Mills didn't comment on the raise directly and instead talked about changes made to employee positions by principals as they tried to balance a roughly $17 million budget shortfall.

Superintendent Jesus Jara directed principals to make the cuts after reinstating dean positions in July.

"While no members of ESEA have been separated from the district, those decisions have placed unwarranted pressure on members," Mills said.

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"As ESP’s, we provide a wide range of essential work and provide vital services to the children in our public schools. As such, we believe those unwarranted pressures will be remedied through the negotiation process with the district."

ESEA officials said they had no plan to call a strike, and they planned to accept the contract offer if it passes the CCSD Board of Trustees.

CCSD officials said, if passed, the raises be reflected in back-pay for any eligible employee dating back to July 1.