CCSD asks court to address ‘sickouts’ that saw 87% of teachers at one school call in

By: - September 12, 2023 6:15 am

(Photo: Ronda Churchill/Nevada Current)

The Clark County School District is asking the court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the Clark County Education Association in response to “sickouts” that forced school closures last week.

CCSD says the actions clearly amount to an illegal strike and will escalate without court intervention.

“The actions of licensed educators have forced the closure of three CCSD schools and severely disrupted the operations of two additional schools through a targeted and coordinated rolling-sickout strike,” said the district in a press release announcing the filing Monday.

Included in the district’s filing were new details of last week’s three school closures, including a breakdown of how many teachers seemingly participated:

  • 29 of 33 licensed personnel (87%) at Gibson Elementary, which was closed Tuesday, Sept. 5 due to absences
  • 29 of 40 licensed personnel (72%) at Sewell Elementary, which was closed Friday, Sept. 8 due to absences
  • 26 of 40 licensed personnel (65%) at Givens Elementary, which was closed Friday, Sept. 8 due to absences

Details were also included regarding higher than normal absences at two additional schools. In both instances, the schools stayed open but had to consolidate students:

  • 37 of 54 licensed personnel (69%) at Monaco Middle School called in on Wednesday, Sept. 6
  • 44 of 105 licensed personnel (42%) at Southeast Career Technical Academy (SECTA) called in on Friday, Sept. 1

CCEA did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the filing Monday night, but leaders for the union have previously told media that they are not involved with the sickouts. The union had promised to take “work actions” if a deal had not been reached by Aug. 25, but on that date leaders spoke only of public rallies, gubernatorial intervention and work-to-rule actions, wherein teachers work what is required by their contract and nothing more.

CCSD in its filing accuses the union of hiding behind “a contrived veil of manufactured deniability.”

The Eighth Judicial District Court website lists a scheduled hearing  for 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Nevada law bars public employees from striking. A court can fine a union up to $50,000 per day for an illegal strike.

CCSD and CCEA have been at a stalemate negotiating a new contract for the district’s 18,000 licensed teachers and professionals. Both parties recently met with Gov. Joe Lombardo, though details are scant on what precisely was discussed and what authority, if any, the executive branch has.

The parties were scheduled to meet Monday and Tuesday to resume negotiations.

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April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, three children and one mutt.