LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With less than two weeks until a planned strike, late Wednesday afternoon, CCEA, the union that represents teachers announced it reached a deal with the Clark County School District. Both sides held a joint news conference Wednesday evening were they discussed how they were pleased with the deal.
“Not surprised at all; We always felt in the end the right decisions would be made,” said John Vellardita, CCEA executive director.
After negotiations stalled on Monday, and the district filed with the court to get an injunction to stop the Sept. 10 strike, both sides met again Wednesday afternoon.
The major sticking point in the negotiations had been a raise the union said was promised in 2016 to teachers who advanced their education. CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara said the district could not afford it.
However, now all of the teachers’ union demands have been met.
CCEA’s requests met by the district are as followed:
- The district needs to honor the state’s 3 percent salary adjustment for roughly 19,000 educators.
- The CCEA wants an additional 2 percent that accrues for a teacher’s time in the district.
- The union wants the district to contribute roughly 4 percent more towards health insurance premiums
- The CCEA wants educators to get a pay bump as they advance professionally.
CCSD Trustee President Lola Brooks weighed in on the tentative deal. She sent the following statement:
“It is the right thing to do for our staff and our students,” said CCSD Board of School Trustee President Lola Brooks. “CCSD is committed to ensuring our staff is compensated for their hard work in the classroom every single day.”
“We are committed to running efficient operations to drive resources to the classroom where they are needed most,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “Central Office positions will go unfilled unless they directly impact student achievement. We are serious about creating lasting and impactful change to benefit the district for the long run.”
When asked where the district was getting the money to fund the deal, Supt. Jara said the following:
“That’s a great question: Where am I getting the money from? We have been reporting this board, my CFO; we have been committed to reporting on a monthly basis. One of the things I heard loud and clear in my 90-day entry plan was about the trust. So, my CFO and our finance team has been reporting to the board on a monthly basis, our financials are on word docs, and we have been trending better in our finances.”
Governor Steve Sisolak was in attendance at the news conference as well. He held CCSD and CCEA’s feet to the fire last week when he told them to get behind closed doors and “figure it out!” The governor’s tone today was a little more tender and emotional Wednesday. Especially, when he spoke about teachers and their commitment to their students.
“I see teachers committed to their students; I see students who love their teachers,” Gov. Sisolak said. “I see principals who show up early and stay late and I see endless potential in our schools.”
The governor also acknowledged that there is systemic problem in Nevada when it comes to funding education and we need to find real solutions so this doesn’t happen again.
“Preventing this in the future means working in partnership and having leadership; make the right decisions at the state level,” Vellardita said.