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Teachers union files complaint against CCSD over longer hours

Updated March 19, 2023 - 1:12 pm

The Clark County Education Association has filed a complaint with the state over changes it says the school district plans to make to the working hours and days for teachers at 23 schools — changes that didn’t go through the collective bargaining process.

The teachers union filed a complaint against the Clark County School District last month with the state’s Employee-Management Relations Board.

The union — which represents about 18,000 licensed professionals — is alleging that the school district told licensed employees at schools in the Transformation Network about the changes, which will take effect next school year.

The Transformation Network is a group of 23 elementary schools that will receive additional academic support from the district: Booker, Clyde Cox, Dearing, Dickens, Duncan, Ira Earl, Harmon, Herr, Jeffers, Kelly, King, Long, Lunt, Lynch, Perkins, Petersen, Hal Smith, Tartan, Thomas, Thorpe, Wilhelm, Wendell Williams and Wynn.

The union is asking for the state board to step in and order the school district to stop implementing the changes.

It also wants the board to issue a finding that the district “engaged in one or more prohibited labor practices” and for the district to be required to post public notices of any violation.

A union spokesperson said Tuesday that it wouldn’t comment on pending litigation against the school district. The district responded with a statement Wednesday: “CCSD will continue to advocate for all our children but will not comment on ongoing negotiations with the bargaining units.”

Changes announced during staff meetings

Around late January, the union found out that schools in the Transformation Network were holding staff meetings to inform licensed employees that their work days will be 19 minutes longer next school year, that they will have three additional work days and that there will be a mandatory buyout of one preparation period weekly, according to the complaint filed Feb. 24.

Around the week of Feb. 7, staff meetings were held again about the requirements.

“It was further stated that additional Professional Learning would be required at these schools, greatly increasing the workload of the licensed staff,” according to the complaint.

Also, the addition of a new reading skills center at each of the schools will likely require employees to perform many additional hours of work beyond their contracted day, the complaint says.

The current collective bargaining agreement between the district and the union runs through the end of this school year. In early January, the union sent a letter to the district saying it intends to negotiate a successor to the agreement, according to the complaint.

The current agreement says a teacher’s work year can’t exceed 184 days — the current number of calendar days for returning licensed employees.

A regular workday is 7 hours and 11 minutes, and elementary school teachers must receive 250 minutes of preparation time every week.

Schools can vote to request a waiver of the contract provisions, but the school district and teachers union must both approve the request.

On Feb. 2, the district’s chief negotiator David Hall emailed a letter addressed to union President John Vellardita saying the district planned to have waiver votes for relevant articles of the agreement, according to the complaint.

The union responded the same day, saying it won’t grant waivers until an agreement for next school year has been reached.

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

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