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CCSD reaches COVID-19 testing agreement with support staff union

Updated September 15, 2021 - 2:46 pm

The Clark County School District announced Wednesday it has reached an agreement with the Education Support Employees Association union to pay employees who are required to undergo COVID-19 testing and to provide a stipend for special education teacher assistants.

The School Board will consider approving the two memorandums of agreements at its regular Sept. 23 meeting.

The testing agreement relates to employees who are required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing because they have not provided proof of vaccination. Currently, school district employees who haven’t uploaded a completed COVID-19 vaccination card into an online system must be tested on their own time.

But under the agreement with the union, employees will now be compensated for their time during testing — including overtime if needed — and for mileage.

They can also request approval from a supervisor to undergo testing during their regular contract hours.

The change is retroactive to Aug. 4 and the estimated financial impact to the district of that measure is $391,000.

The school district agreed to pay specialized programs teacher assistants who work one-on-one with special education students a $750 stipend, with a $1,000 stipend designated for teacher assistants at the Stewart, Variety and Miller schools as well as at the Miley Achievement Center.

The estimated cost of that measure is $367,000.

ESEA said in a Wednesday statement that the union and Teamsters 14 are working to ensure education support professionals are safe in schools, including complying with school district COVID-19 testing requirements.

“Our (education support professionals) began the year having to test on their own time and at their own expense,” the union said. “ESEA swiftly demanded to bargain with the district. We are pleased that an agreement has now been reached with CCSD as to compensation for mileage and pay so employees can comply with the mandatory testing requirement.”

The union said it’s also pleased about the agreement to provide stipends for specialized programs teacher assistants.

“This is a good use of district funds for these roles,” it said.

At the beginning of the school year, some employees reported long wait times outdoors in 100-plus degree weather and a shortage of testing kits at some sites.

The district said it has since made changes, including opening more testing sites.

The School Board voted 5-1 earlier this month to authorize Superintendent Jesus Jara to draft and implement a COVID-19 employee vaccination mandate, a process that will include negations with unions. There’s no timeline yet for when employees would have to be vaccinated.

An ESEA union spokesman said there haven’t been any meetings yet with the school district regarding the employee vaccination mandate.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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