LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The health and safety of educators remains a top priority for the Clark County Education Association. The teachers’ union says it will make some requests during the next special session for lawmakers.
The CCEA is demanding that the governor, as well as legislators, protect CCSD staff while putting certain protocols in place.
“You have to have legislation,” said Tomeicko Hopkins, a teacher within the Clark County School District.
Hopkins supports the teachers’ union fighting for the safety of educators.
The Watson Elementary School teacher says she wants personal protective equipment and worker’s compensation for anyone who may get COVIS while on the job.
“I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” Hopkins said.
CCEA is making its demands a focus now upon reopening schools. At this time, it’s unknown when students will return to a classroom, but educators are allowed on campus. But this is a concern for the union considering the numbers.
“We have 229 cases right now out of 18,000 educators that have contracted the virus,” said John Vellardita, CCEA executive director. “Ten-percent of those have been hospitalized, and that’s been without being in the schools.”
In a statement, the union addresses two major issues: The first involves safety, testing, and contact tracing. The union wants to require testing for all CCSD employees upon reentry into the schools as well as ongoing testing throughout the year.
The second issue includes employee protection and employer liability.
“If there is no safety program in place as I’ve spelled out, they should have the right under Tort Law to sue their employer,” Vellardita said.
According to the CCEA, if requests are not met: “We’re going to weigh our options,” said Vellardita. “We are not going to encourage or allow an educator to go back into these buildings if they’re not safe.”
Cristen Drummond, 8 News NOW Reporter: “When you say ‘weigh your options,’ what are we talking about?”
John Vellardita, CCEA executive director: “Everything is on the table.”
Drummond: “Are we talking a strike? Possibly?”
Vellardita: “I’m not saying, I’m not addressing that right now.”
The union’s request coincides with a business liability bill during this legislative session. The CCEA says it would make employers free from liability regarding COVID exposure if the business provides a robust safety, testing, and contact tracing program.
The union wants to add language focusing on the district.