Teachers in the nation's fifth-largest school district may walk out of classrooms on Sept. 10 if their contract impasse is not broken by the end of the week, union leaders say.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the teachers union has rejected the Clark County (Nev.) School District's offer on salaries and benefits.
The Clark County Education Association "has rejected the district’s offer for the economic re-opener on salaries and benefits,” the union said in an email to its members. “On Aug. 23, if there is no change in [the disttrict's] offer, then [the union] will mobilize for the first strike action to take place on Sept. 10, 2019.”
The announcement follows a legislative session in which lawmakers failed to allocate enough funding to meet all the union’s demands.
A walkout by Nevada teachers would follow a series of strikes by educators in at least six other states since 2018. Striking is illegal in Nevada, and carries a fine of up to $50,000 per day for the union and potential dismissal of teachers.
A major point of contention between the union and the district is salary increases for teachers who completed enough professional development to qualify for a pay advancement — the type of raise tied to continuing education or other activities that may boost the quality of instruction.
The union estimates that some 2,000 educators qualify for that raise, which would cost between $15 million and $20 million.
The union also wants the district to address a step freeze that prevented teachers from receiving a pay hike for an additional year of experience.
The two parties appear to agree on a 3 percent salary raise across the board, a 2 percent step increase and a roughly 4 percent increase in the district’s contribution to health care.
Although the Legislature approved a few last-minute bills this session that helped the district cover the 3 percent raise promised by Gov. Steve Sisolak, the district announced shortly after the session in June that it faced a $17 million deficit for this year and another $17 million for the next school year.
To close the deficit this year, middle and high schools cut roughly $98 per student from their individual budgets.