The Clark County Education Association plans to file an unfair labor practice complaint against the Clark County School District over changes in the Professional Growth System that dictates how and when teachers can advance on the salary schedule.
The system, introduced this year as part of the 2015-2017 teachers’ contract, allows teachers to develop a growth plan to further their professional development and accrue credits that allow them to increase their salary gradually.
But the union claims that the district unilaterally changed part of the system in a memo sent to teachers last week. Those changes include reducing the number of credits teachers receive for college course work, as outlined in a manual that both parties agreed upon last year.
“This is a serious breach of trust and confidence in a new compensation system that the district has essentially reneged on,” said John Vellardita, the union’s executive director.
Under the system, educators can move one step across the salary schedule once every three years after completing 225 of the so-called contact units.
But special education teachers in self-contained classrooms and those working in certain Title 1 schools can move across once every two years, according to the original manual.
The district’s changes, however, move special education teachers working outside of those eligible Title 1 schools to the three-year track. Teachers will also not receive any credits for taking Massive Open Online Courses, which brought in one unit for every 180 minutes under the original system.
In a statement, the district said that the recent memo to teachers clarified “minor inconsistencies” between the system manual and the teachers’ contract.
“CCSD and CCEA partnered to create the Professional Growth System, which gives our valued teachers an innovative method of augmenting their salaries by acknowledging the work they do to go above and beyond the call of duty,” the statement reads.
Both parties are currently negotiating the contract for the 2017-2018 school year.
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Changes to Professional Growth System for Clark County teachers
- College coursework earns 5 contact units per semester credit, 3.5 units per quarter credit. Original manual gave eight units per semester credit, five units per quarter credit.
- Special education teachers in self-contained classrooms can move across salary schedule every three years. Original manual allowed such teachers to move across every two years.
- Massive Open Online Courses will no longer accrue contact units, except for those completed between June 2, 2016 and May 1, 2017. Original manual gave one contact unit for each 180-minute time period.
Source: CCSD Memo to staff dated April 6; original Professional Growth System reference guide.