CCSD, teachers union settle contract. But bad blood is still plenty.
It’s nothing short of a Christmas miracle. After months of bitter negotiations, a handful of school closures due to “teacher sickouts,” interventions from elected officials and countless petty public jabs, the Clark County School District and the Clark County Education Association announced Wednesday they reached an agreement on a new two-year contract for the district’s roughly 18,000 licensed educators and professionals.

 The new contract largely meets the salary demands made by the teachers union. (Photo: Ronda Churchill/Nevada Current)

by April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current

The new contract largely meets the salary demands made by CCEA, including the call for 18% raises over two years and additional pay for educators in hard-to-fill positions.

CCSD in September declared an impasse after months of stalled negotiations. An arbitrator was appointed in December and directed the district and union to resume negotiations, according to a statement from CCEA. On Wednesday, that arbitrator accepted a contract negotiated between the district and union.

The approved two-year contract includes a 10% salary increase in year one and an 8% salary increase in year two. The year-one raises are effective July 1, 2023 — meaning teachers, who have been working without a contract since the current school year began, will receive back pay. That back pay will be disbursed beginning in March, according to the teacher’s union.

The contract also includes a supplemental 1.875% salary increase beginning halfway through the current school year and sunsetting on June 30, 2025. That raise will be paid with funds from SB 231, a matching fund established by state lawmakers earlier this year to fund raises for teachers and support staff.

SB 231 will also fund a supplemental $5,000 for licensed special education staff and licensed staff at Title-1 schools with a vacancy rate of 5% or higher.

CCSD in a press release said the new contract includes “a mechanism to address what happens if the SB 231 funds are not re-appropriated for the next biennium.” But no specifics were given.

SB 231 has proven contentious in its implementation. CCEA argued the money could be used to raise the base salary permanently, something the district decried as fiscally irresponsible. Last week, legislators on the Interim Finance Committee deferred a vote to approve SB 231-funded raises for CCSD support staff because the district did not simultaneously present a plan for educator raises.

With a teachers contract now settled, CCSD should be able to appear in front of the finance committee at their next scheduled meeting, on Feb. 8.

According to the district, educator salaries will now range from the starting rate of $53,000 to over $131,000.

Bad blood abounds

Despite the new contract, tensions still remain between the embattled head of CCSD and state legislative leaders.

In a statement released by the district, Superintendent Jesus Jara said the raises awarded in the new contract were possible because of Gov. Joe Lombardo, the Clark County School Board, and the district’s bargaining team.

Jara did not mention the Nevada State Legislature, the body that actually approves the state budget and whose majority leaders have called for his resignation.

In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager congratulated CCEA and educators but doubled down on their criticism of Jara, saying he and his senior leadership “consistently bargained in bad faith, putting their egos above what was best for teachers and students.”

They continued, “In the process, they accomplished nothing beyond embarrassing themselves and causing unnecessary distress for the district’s employees. To that end, we reiterate our call for Dr. Jara to resign.”

CCEA in their statement was silent on the superintendent but thanked Lombardo, Cannizzaro and Yeager “for their efforts in resolving this dispute.”

The union’s statement also emphasized a belief that “the current arbitration law is outdated and fails to provide quick resolutions.” The union will “seek solutions in the next legislative session for more expedient dispute resolution.”

CCEA has taken aim at Nevada’s anti-strike law, which bars public employees from striking in favor of binding arbitration. In October, the union filed a lawsuit to have that law overturned as unconstitutional. Leaders said at the time they planned to immediately call for a strike were a court to rule in their favor.

It is unclear whether the teacher’s union will now abandon that effort, which has the potential to upend the power dynamics between unionized public employees and their employers. When asked about that lawsuit Wednesday, CCEA’s communications director declined to comment, saying union officials would answer questions at a press conference scheduled for Thursday morning.


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.

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