In the latest move in a game to make the other side blink, the Clark County School District announced Monday it has filed a request in court for an injunction to “stop a crippling strike that would be devastating to the academic outcomes and economy of the entire state of Nevada.
CCSD teachers are threatening to strike on Sept. 10 over stalled negotiations related to raises for educators who invested in a professional growth system previously agreed upon by the district. The district and teachers union already agree on a 3 percent across-the-board raise promised by the governor, “step increases” equivalent to a 2 percent raise, and increased health care contributions from the district equivalent to around 4 percent.
Negotiators from CCSD and Clark County Education Association, the union representing the district’s 18,000 licensed teachers and personnel, held a negotiation session Monday but did not reach an agreement. Late last week CCSD offered a one-time payment for teachers who are currently eligible for “column advancement” via the professional growth system, but the union has rejected that offer.
“We want to avert a strike by any means,” said Superintendent Jesus Jara in the statement announcing the request to have courts order the teachers union to stand down. “We sought a request for injunctive relief to protect our 320,000 precious assets and our community. It’s not the move we wanted, but in the interest of the families we serve, we had no other possible choice.”
CCEA responded to the court filing with its own press release, saying the district’s latest move came as “no surprise.”
“It is our position that the law making striking illegal in Nevada is unconstitutional and educators should not be deterred from exercising their rights,” reads the union’s statement. “We will challenge this up through the Nevada Supreme Court.”
Public employee strikes are illegal in the state and according to to statute, a court can punish organizations with a fine up to $50,000 per day and can punish participants with dismissal or suspension.
According to the press release, CCEA has agreed to mediation to assist in in the dispute but concludes: “Regardless, the September 10, 2019 action is scheduled.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include statements from CCEA.