The Clark County School Board approved a new two-year contract for teachers on Thursday night, officially ending a monthslong battle for higher salaries that brought continuous threats of a strike from the teachers union.
The 2019-21 contract for nearly 19,000 teachers includes a 3 percent raise, step increases for each of the two years and a 4 percent increase in monthly health care contributions. The vote was 6-0, with one absence.
Teachers also won a key point of contention in the contract negotiations: raises for educators who completed enough professional development activities to advance a column in the salary table, equating to an annual pay raise of over $5,000.
The district, which held fast for months and even alerted the community of its plans to keep schools open during a potential strike, announced it had found enough money to cover those column advancements — previously estimated at $11 million to $15 million — last month.
The district listed three major areas from which it could draw funding: interest earnings from the district’s cash investments, frozen central office positions, and federal and state funding that will pay for items that the district previously funded through its general budget.
Trustees also approved a two-year contract for the small group of police administrators that mirrors the teachers’ agreement with the 3 percent raise, a 4 percent increase in monthly health care contributions each year and step increases for each year.
That contract costs roughly $1.4 million each year.
Trustees also held off on approving an “open schools, open doors” agreement that it has been working on with Clark County to allow community access to outdoor school property.
A number of trustees expressed concerns with the agreement, questioning who might clean up damage and how long that might take employees to fix — as well as wondering about the overall wear and tear to school property.
In a perfect world, Trustee Deanna Wright said, the county and city would work with the district to provide funding so that playgrounds don’t fall apart or football fields are in good condition.
“But we don’t live in that world,” she said. “The world we live in is that CCSD has to pay for everything; everything is our responsibility.”
Trustee Danielle Ford also said she would love it if there were enough funding for upkeep and cameras to watch activity on school grounds — but said the district is not there yet.
“The best-case scenario to this agreement is normal wear and tear and that still has a cost associated to it,” she said.