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Benefits threatened in Clark County, state teachers unions feud

Updated November 28, 2017 - 11:49 pm

State and national labor organizations representing teachers are threatening to yank certain benefits from Clark County educators because of a feud with the local union.

Legal representation, liability insurance, member benefits and discounts are among the benefits slated to end Friday as a result of the dispute, Nevada State Education Association head Ruben Murillo and National Education Association head Lily Garcia warned in a joint letter to Clark County teachers published Monday.

“I think our members need to know where they stand,” Murillo said Tuesday.

Murillo and Garcia blame the leadership from the Clark County Education Association for the lapse of benefits. The organizations are suing each other over how local members’ dues are being spent.

“The CCEA leadership, without notice or approval from its members, has been and continues to illegally withhold your dues to NSEA and NEA thus jeopardizing your membership in good standing,” the letter reads.

John Vellardita, head of the local union, called the letter a scare tactic.

He said the local union already provides the same benefits and there would be no adverse effects on educators if the state union follows through on the threat.

“It’s about money,” he said Tuesday. “We’re not going to let any exposure for our members occur.”

The organizations have a history of friction, which boiled over publicly during the 2017 legislative session. After the session, the local union board passed a vote of no confidence in the state union, saying it was ineffective and had issued misinformation during the session.

In September, the local union took the issue to court, saying the NSEA was breaching its contract by not sharing how member dues were spent. The state union responded with its own lawsuit, saying the local was in breach of contract by withholding dues.

The suits are proceeding in court and Vellardita said he expects a hearing to be held in January.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 703-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

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