Senior teachers benefit in newly approved CCSD contract

The Clark County School Board unanimously approved more than $54 million in teacher pay raises on Thursday as part of the 2014-15 contract negotiated with the teachers union, Clark County Education Association.

Highlights of contract changes include a 1 percent pay raise across the board for all 18,000 teachers. An even larger pay raise for seniority, not performance, will go to 8,000 teachers currently maxed out on the pay scale and be retroactive to the beginning of the school year.

Like many school districts, Clark County’s pay scale uses a system of steps and columns where teachers receive automatic pay raises annually until they reach the top step, regardless of their performance. Teachers also receive automatic raises for earning advanced degrees, moving them over on the columns of the pay scale with each column providing a higher salary. Under the new contract, teachers who were frozen in their spot on the pay scale in recent years will be allowed to advance based on seniority and continued education, and a new step for seniority, effective for those 8,000 teachers previously maxed out for their years in the district.

All teachers will also receive a separate 1 percent pay raise, but it won’t reach their paychecks. It will cover an increase in payments to the state’s retirement system for public employees.

The starting salary for a new teacher with a bachelor’s degree, however, will remain below $35,000 despite both district and teacher union officials complaining it’s largely to blame in the struggle to attract and keep new teachers. The district currently has a shortage of more than 600 teachers because of a hiring struggle this summer. The district is in competition with other urban districts paying more to new teachers, whether it’s Portland, Ore., paying $38,046, San Diego offering $42,210, Los Angeles at $45,637 or Houston with $49,100.

Contact Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Find him on Twitter: @TrevonMilliard.

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