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CCSD, teachers finalize arbitration

September 12, 2018

LAUGHLIN — Clark County School District and the Clark County Education Association finalized a plan to settle arbitration without further appeal, resulting in pay increases for teaching staff as early as September.

The school district and the teachers’ union couldn’t come to terms during negotiations for pay raises and increases in benefits. An arbitrator’s decision said the district must make the payment but CCSD claimed they didn’t have the money to do so. Later, a judge upheld the arbitrator’s ruling.

Stipulations included:

• the district agreed to pay $51 million to provide step increases and increased health care funds for licensed personnel contracts for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years and $17 million for the first year of implementation of the Professional Growth System.

• CCSD and CCEA agreed to work together to increase funding in the 2019 legislature for increases for teachers, so that any additional funding compensation is contingent on sufficient incremental funding.

Some teachers have already seen an increase in the form of compensation for unused personal and universal days, teacher Heidi Zenefski said. Zenefski teaches special education at Laughlin Junior Senior High School. She is a member of the local branch of the CCEA.

Pay increases are expected in September or October, she continued.

Teachers also haven’t received their contract units for professional development yet, Zenefski said.

One CU is worth three hours of professional development or for activities outside of teachers’ contract time, Zenefski said.

Every two years, teachers can earn up to 225 CUs, or 675 hours of extra work. Sometimes they can earn more.

Earning CUs allows teachers to move up in the pay increase structure — meaning the difference between a $1,300 to $5,000 increase, she continued.

Zenefski herself put in for 295 CUs and the district approved 263, which equals 789 extra hours of work over a two year period to earn the extra pay jump, she said.

Zenefski doesn’t mind the extra time, she continued, because she likes to learn, it helps her to become a better teacher and it helps keep the job exciting and new.

Teachers were nervous about the agreement between the CCSD and CCEA coming to fruition, she said.

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