Union Paid Staff Nearly Third of Budget - 8 News NOW

Union Paid Staff Nearly One-Third of Budget

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LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County School District is possibly looking at another year of budget cuts. Administrators are waiting on a decision from an arbitrator over $39 million in concessions they're asking the teachers union to make, while another fight over an additional $2.4 million is heating up.

Every penny of CCSD's $2 billion budget is being scrutinized. Each union was asked to make concessions, and three, including the administrators, school police, and support staff, agreed to take salary freezes. While CCSD waits on a final decision with the teachers union, Superintendent Dwight Jones says they are preparing pink slips.

"It's been a difficult negotiation. It's really a lose-lose because ultimately, if we're successful with the arbitrator, it's still concessions that have to be made," he said.

If the district wins arbitration, teachers would see their salaries frozen and would have to return a pay increases they received last year. If the union wins, 1,000 teachers could lose their jobs.

"We do have some federal dollars that I think can help offset that. Next year looks pretty bleak," said Jones.

Another issue is $2.4 million given to the teachers union's Foundation for Teacher Development between 2006 and 2011. The school board asked for invoices and expense reports last summer, but they have yet to be given.

"I want to make sure that we account for every dollar and that's why I've asked the question and that's also why I'm asking our legal counsel to say, if we don't get the necessary information back, then tell me what the next steps are," said Jones.

The foundation's former executive director told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the money allowed teachers to take classes to improve their education, and for the Step-Up Program, which gives college credit to high school students who want to pursue teaching.

The union's most recent IRS filing shows an operating budget of $4.1 million, with more than a third of it going to executive salaries.

Teachers Union President Ruben Murillo wrote the "CCEA in no way condones excessive and multiple salaries for any staff or leaders," but declined a request for an interview.

After a months-long fight, the district and union agreed to continue with the teachers health trust, which provides health insurance to its members.

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