UPDATE: Teachers could strike Sept. 10, but support employees union sets negotiation dates

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John Vellardita, executive director of the Clark County Education Association.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Teachers in the Las Vegas valley could strike on Sept. 10 unless a teacher pay agreement is reached with the Clark County School District, according to a communication sent to teachers today.

Teachers and the district need to agree on pay levels for teachers who advance professionally. Other issues include the current step-raise freeze, and the increase of employee retirement contributions, which reduced pay by 0.625 percent.

Meanwhile, the union for support employees released a statement pledging to work out pay and benefit increases with CCSD without a strike.

“We expect to settle a contract with the district via the bargaining table, and not in the streets,” said Virginia M. Mills, president of the Education Support Employees Association. The statement said ESEA does not support or encourage an illegal strike by its own members.

Negotiations between ESEA and CCSD are scheduled Aug. 27, Sept. 3 and Sept. 10.

The union for administrators has had one negotiation session with CCSD, and another one is scheduled on Thursday. Administrators have argued that the district should treat employees equally, and not favor teachers in the pay discussion.

Any walkout by teachers — also illegal under Nevada law — may be an extended strike, said John Vellardita, Executive Director of the Clark County Education Association. “It could be multiple days,” he said.

Teachers are rallying at 4:30 p.m. before Thursday’s 5 p.m. Board of Trustees meeting .

A strike could cost the teachers union $50,000 per day, and union officials say they are ready to take on the risks. The union does not believe teachers will be fired, and has asked parents to support a strike decision if it comes to that.

8 News Now will have updates on this developing story.

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