School support staff reject proposed pay increase and request to cut NEA ties

Clark County school support staff voted down everything that their local union leaders sought at a frenzied Thursday meeting, including contract terms with a proposed 2 percent cost of living raise and a move to break with the National Education Association, according to the Education Support Employees Association’s website.

Local President John Carr didn’t return calls Monday seeking the results of the disaffiliation vote.

However, the union reported that the proposed support staff contract with the Clark County School District was shot down in a vote of 295-107. ESEA negotiates the contract for nearly 11,000 bus drivers, cooks, janitors and other support staff.

But most of the focus at Thursday’s meeting was on the surprise motion to disaffiliate from NEA and become independent. Members were told of the motion just three working days before the meeting although the local’s bylaws call for notice of 10 working days. The bylaw violation angered both state and national affiliate leaders who threatened “legal challenge” should disaffiliation be approved.

The request from leadership of the support staff local was to cut ties with the Nevada State Education Association and its parent, the National Education Association. The ESEA and the district’s teachers union, Clark County Education Association, combine to form one of the largest NEA chapters in the country.

The state and national affiliates have represented local support staff’s interests to lawmakers, also providing staffing and labor lawyers to the local. The support staff union has even boasted of these affiliations as “reasons to belong,” according to its website, noting that the affiliates give workers “a voice at the state Legislature” and “access to the buying power and lobbying power” of the nation’s largest professional employees organization.

It’s unclear what prompted the push to leave the state and national unions. Carr didn’t return repeated calls about the issue last week from the Review-Journal. Members were told Thursday that the split would enable the union to lower dues.

Currently, members pay $20.15 per biweekly pay period if they’re full-time employees. About half of all dues are sent to the state union, a quarter of dues also goes to the national union. Just 17 percent of the money stays with the local union.

Several members at the meeting asked local union leaders Thursday if the push for disaffiliation was in exchange for the Clark County School District’s offer of a 2 percent raise. The questions weren’t answered during the chaotic meeting.

Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at or 702-383-0279.

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