Teachers in the Las Vegas valley are planning to go on strike next month if they don’t manage to reach an agreement about their pay with the Clark County School District. In conjunction, the Education Support Employees Association has stated that
“it will continue to work with the Clark County School District on finalising the pay and benefit increases that were passed by the Legislature this Session.”
Three separate rounds of negotiations are set to take place in the next two weeks to consider the contract being proposed by Clark County School District Board of Trustees which offers teachers a 3% raise in 2019-2020 and 2020-2019 as well as an increase for employee medical system by 4%.
Clark County School District announced that the contract reflects the largest increase to public employee pay and benefits in the last 10 years. Clark County Education will most likely not accept the proposed contract leaving many confused about handling a long term strike if the situation persists. Aguilar, a student parent, commented;
“they should get what they deserve and hopefully it doesn’t affect our children for too long because how long can you allow them to let them be out there striking?” She also added, “I guess it’s against Nevada law, but they have to live too.”
In a meeting that was held last Monday, Clark County Education executives discussed calling for a wide district teacher strike if their contract demands are not met. “We’ve gone for a decade with this school district fighting for crumbs,” said John Vellardita Clark County Education Executive Director. The district is ignoring three of the union’s demands including two years of a step freeze, paying for column movement, and an increase to employee contribution to their retirement plan. Vellardita mentions “the district has offered to pay for step increases for the next two years, but the union wanted them to go back and adjust for the experience accrued during the last two years.” He also adds that a column movement progression will allow “more well-trained teachers to be paid more for working the same positions.Finally, he says
“district officials have to address an increase to employee’s contribution to their retirement plan which effectively reduced their salaries by .625%.”
Mobilising for a strike
Several teachers and supporters have been calling for a strike September 10th on social media platforms. Kenny Belknap, a district teacher wrote on his twitter account, “September 10th. Educators circle the date on your calendar, put on red, make a sign and let’s take a stand against a district that obviously doesn’t support or appreciate the hard work we do!” Clark County Education announced that if the District’s offer does not meet their demands on salary and benefits increases by August 23 they will start mobilising for the first strike action.