LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Amid a stalemate in contract negotiations, the Clark County teacher’s union says it will now start taking work actions against the school district, which include teachers no longer working before or after school.
Members of the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) made the decision to engage in work actions at their meeting on Saturday, Aug. 26.
Teachers are required under their contract to work 7 hours and 11 minutes, but CCEA says its teachers will not go beyond those hours.
“There’s a tipping point,” CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita said. “If we don’t get this thing resolved, we’re going to start seeing more teachers leave.”
The Clark County School District (CCSD) entered the school year with a teacher shortage, and the contract dispute between CCSD and CCEA, could make it worse for students the further we get into the school year.
Vellardita says the current vacancy problem is a crisis and CCEA’s contract offer, which includes a $5,000 bonus for teachers who work in higher vacancy schools, will ease that problem.
“We know that there’s more than 1,200 vacancies because what the district isn’t telling the public is vacant positions now are being filled by substitutes. That’s not a full-time teacher in the classroom,” Vellardita said.
CCEA is also proposing giving all teachers a 10% pay increase the first year and an 8% increase the second year.
According to CCSD, the district began the 2023/2024 school year with nearly 1,200 teacher vacancies.
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara addressed that with 8 News Now during an interview in early August, saying the current teacher salary schedule is causing some to leave.
“Not being compensated for their years of service. They’re not being compensated for their degrees. How is it fair when you have a schedule that pays a two- or three-year teacher, more money than somebody who has been in the district?” Jara said on Aug. 3.
The earliest data 8News Now has on district-wide teacher vacancies is from October of last year.
These are the top five schools during the 2022-2023 with the highest number:
- Smith Middle School – 18 vacancies
- Cashman Middle School – 17 vacancies
- Cheyenne High School – 26 vacancies
- Chaparral High School – 17 vacancies
- Legacy High School – 15 vacancies
The district in its contract offer has proposed an 8.5% increase for teachers the first year, and 2% the following year. CCEA members rejected that offer during their Saturday membership meeting.
Below is a statement, CCSD sent to 8 News Now regarding CCEA’s work actions:
“The District has not been informed by the CCEA that its members are engaging in any “work actions.” If they are, it’s disappointing that the CCEA would resort to such tactics that have a direct negative impact on the District’s students. We would hope that the CCEA would reconsider their strategy of using students as leverage for their bargaining demands. CCSD will continue to advocate for paying teachers what they deserve within the means allocated by the Legislature while ensuring that the interests of students, parents, and the District’s overall operations are not disrupted.”