LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County School District won its arbitration case with the teachers union, taking back raises awarded to teachers for the current school year when the two sides could not agree on a new contract.
When the district and the union declared an impasse in the 2011-12 school year, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the union, allowing for teachers to receive step raises to which they were entitled by their previous contract. Teachers then received step raises for both 2011-12 and 2012-13.
The parties both declared an impasse again this year. If the district and union cannot agree on a contract, state law provides for the terms of the last contract to remain in effect.
Teachers will stop receiving the 2012-13 step raises in their next paycheck, but will not be required to give back any money previously received from the raises.
"The district is relieved today that the arbitrator chose our contract proposal because it will help us balance our budget, which has been cut by $550 million over the past six years. This decision supports the district's priority to put more teachers back into classrooms," CCSD Superintendent Dwight Jones said.
District officials have said their first priority is to restore cuts made to licensed positions following last year's arbitration ruling.
Clark County Education Association Vice President Vikki Courtney issued a prepared statement: "CCEA accepts the arbitrator's decision. The provisions under NRS 288 that allow binding arbitration to resolve disputes in contract negotiations work. The arbitrator's decision is based on more teachers being hired in CCSD. However, this decision does not address a more systemic problem. As long as the Legislature doesn't adequately fund public education, school districts will continue to have challenges to meet the needs of the student population. Programs will be cut and our students' education will be shortchanged."
Jones said the district will continue to work with employee groups through the legislative session to highlight the need for a more balanced and equitable approach to funding public education.