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With pink slips looming, arbitration victory is bittersweet for teachers union

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Paul Takahashi

Dwight Jones, Clark County School District superintendent, addresses the media Wednesday morning after an arbitrator sided with the district’s teachers in a contract dispute. The decision, Jones said, probably will force the district to lay off hundreds of teachers.

Updated Wednesday, May 2, 2012 | 6:34 p.m.

Pink slips may go out to hundreds of teachers by the end of this month after an arbitrator sided with the teachers union on pay raises, the Clark County School District announced Wednesday.

The arbitrator, Philip Tamoush, found in his opinion that the district had the ability to pay salary step and education increases to its 18,000 teachers, according to the arbitration award released early Wednesday.

Tamoush’s binding decision caps a bitter, 10-month contract battle between the School District and the Clark County Education Association. The district — which is facing a $63 million shortfall — had sought concessions from its teachers union to balance its budget.

The arbitrator’s decision forces the district to continue paying salary step and education increases to teachers through this school year — at a cost of $29 million. Because salary and benefits constitute nearly 90 percent of the School District’s general fund budget, the decision will force the district to lay off an undetermined number of positions, said Clark County Schools Superintendent Dwight Jones.

“It wasn’t easy for me to propose a freeze for any of our hard-working employees, but keeping people in jobs in these tough economic times seemed like the right thing to do,” Jones said. “As a result of the ruling, some teachers will get increases while other teachers will get a pink slip.”

The district will assess its budget and projected end-of-school-year retirements and resignations to determine how many pink slips it will need to issue, Jones said. The district had warned in the past that up to 1,350 licensed positions may be eliminated if the arbitrator sided with the union. Reduction-in-force notices may be sent out as early as May 16, Jones said.

If the district follows through with layoffs, the reduction in force would be among the largest in the district’s history. Even though the district has cut more than $500 million from its operating budget since the recession began, there have been no teacher layoffs of this magnitude, Jones said.

“We have tried hard to keep those cuts away from the classroom, but when the budget is 90 percent people, at the end of the day, it’s going to be difficult to avoid (layoffs) going forward,” he said, adding that he appreciates teachers and respects the hard work they do.

Jones blamed the union for delaying the outcome of the contract negotiations, which began in August 2011. The district also was hampered in negotiations by the current contract that forces the district to give pay raises to teachers regardless of its ability to pay for them, he said.

The district lost in arbitration in part because the district had paid out salary step and education increases throughout the year, Jones said. But the only reason the district was able to give raises was because it had slashed its budget earlier this year, dipped into emergency funds and received concessions from its other unions representing school administrators, police and support staff, he added.

“It’s amazing how sometimes doing the good deed goes punished,” Jones said. “If the district was flush with cash, I would pay everyone more. But we’re not. ... It’s a difficult time to have folks get an increase when we’re trying to get through one of our most difficult economic downturns.”

Regardless of the arbitration decision, Jones said he was committed to educating Clark County children by graduating more students and improving literacy efforts through professional development for teachers and student programming. The district is not an employment agency — its job is to educate students, he said.

“While the arbitrator’s decisions isn’t what we hoped for, our commitment to providing a quality education for students continues to go unchanged. We will not waver on that,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, this school district must deliver to every parent our promise that their child should get the very best education, and regardless of what the adults are trying to work out, the focus has to be on making sure kids are educated in a very tough economic time.”

District officials said they did not know how the decision would affect class sizes.

Ruben Murillo, the teachers union president, called the arbitration decision a “bittersweet victory.” It’s sweet because the arbitrator sided with the union but bitter because some teachers may face layoffs, Murillo said.

“Our members are absolutely feeling relief that they don’t have to pay back any monies that they have earned through promises made by the School District for salary advancements,” he said. “This is one major distraction that’s out of the way so they can concentrate on finishing the year and graduating students.”

Murillo denied Jones’ allegations that the union delayed contract negotiations. He also disagreed with the district’s contention that because it lost in arbitration, it is now forced to lay off hundreds of teachers.

Although the union understands the tough financial situation facing the district, it believes the district has the money to fulfill its contractual obligations to its teachers while also avoiding layoffs, Murillo said.

He questioned the district’s efforts to recruit more teachers while threatening layoffs. He also added that the district had more than $40 million in its ending fund balance that it could use to offset its budget shortfall. However, district policy states that it must keep 1 percent of its general fund budget as reserve money for emergency purposes.

“We are prepared to work with the district to make sure that no teachers are laid off,” Murillo said.

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  1. Perhaps, Mr. Jones, you could take a closer look at the ranks of off-site [non school] administration of which you [a] seem to have plenty and, [b] with whom you have negotiated a sweetheart contract. If the front line of education is students/teachers/classrooms then why do we have such an abundance of administrators? Your own consultants stated as much but you and the Board have ignored those recommendations.

  2. The district isn't facing a $63 million budget gap. This is a lie.

    The district simply wants to spend $65 million on things other than professional compensation which was agreed to by contract. Dwight Jones wants to drop $65 million on iPads and other technology purchases that the CCSD simply does not need right now.

    Here's what's going to happen folks: CCSD will in fact issue layoff notices to 1,000 teachers. However every single one of those teachers will be rehired, with no positions eliminated for next school year. On top of that, CCSD will continue to hire several hundred brand new teachers into the district to cover losses from attrition.

    This layoff scare is nothing more than an empty threat to cover Jones' rear end on this issue.

    Let's also not forget that there are multiple avenues to eliminate CCSD's financial woes altogether. Get rid of CCSD PD. Tax mining profits at a reasonable level. Institute a business tax so companies like Apple actually pay for the privilege of operating in this state.

    The arbitrator made the right choice and likely knows that this entire issue is nothing more than posturing so Jones can pay for his pet projects instead of keeping commitments to teachers.

  3. What about the 800+ job openings listed for licensed staff? Those are positions that are currently in the budget but not filled including over 150 reading specialists in k-5. Should we really be moving teachers out of the classroom into support roles while increasing class size? Jones says a lot about supporting students but continues to cut resources. Too bad the school board has given him free reign.

  4. The district tried to shuffle and hide the money, and got caught. If you understood how the arbitrator worked, you would know that if he found the district's numbers to be truthful, he would have been required to side with them. CCSD went the way of Capone, and was caught the same way- by an accountant.

  5. So what if the district has money they want to spend on things other than compensation? Just because there is money available does not mean teachers and the unions are entitled to it.

  6. So CCEA has refused to make concessions despite the fact that everyone else, in sectors public and private, is doing just that. This makes me glad I have never given a thin dime of my salary to the union, and I never will.

    My admin has always dealt fairly with me and I don't need to hide behind union reps. This is because I am a good teacher, and I work hard every day. Now hundreds of other teachers like me are facing losing our jobs. Effective teaching doesn't count for anything, seniority counts for everything.

    People love to point out that there are hundreds of vacancies in the district. True - but if your teaching license doesn't say you can teach that specific subject and grade level, those vacancies don't apply to you.

    Oh, and Dwight Jones? I'm not a fan of his, either. He presides over an incredibly bloated, top-heavy district full of administrative staff and a bunch of failed teachers that scuttled into "professional development" as soon as they possibly could. Keep teachers in classrooms? That's obviously not a priority.

  7. "So what if the district has money they want to spend on things other than compensation? Just because there is money available does not mean teachers and the unions are entitled to it."

    That's the nature of binding arbitration....The district tried to take the money and due process from teachers. Maybe the other unions should have done their homework...

  8. State workers - See how you have been shafted. No raises in five years. Pay cuts for four years. Benefits slashed. Premiums skyrocketing. And now your kids can have 50 students in their high school classrooms, so that CCSD teachers can keep getting their raises. That's what your bosses - our Governor and our legislators - did to you.

  9. id like to see the total number of administrators for ccsd---no doubt most of the money is being sucked off the top with the gazillion administrators this school district has---getting worse for years and now totally out of control. Stick all these clowns back in the classroom and problem solved.

  10. The proposed 2012-2013 school year budget shows 1.78 Billion for approximately 25000 full time positions.

    I have an number of questions.

    1. How much of that money is for teachers working in schools.

    2. How much of that money is for teachers on "special assignment"?

    3. How much of that money is for administrators working in schools?

    4. How much of that money is for administrators working in performance zones, areas, and other non-school slots?

  11. Unions are running our Federal State and Local government and they are out of control.

    This is why Scott Walker did what had to be done in Wisconsin

    At least we have some small control over the raising of taxes

    Fire all of the union bosses first

  12. What's not being reported here is that the CCEA DID offer a 1 year pay freeze for everything except education raises, and the CCSD said no. The CCSD has tried messing with our healthcare, pension, and pay this year. They were being unreasonable, and were caught.

    This mess was created and encouraged by Dwight Jones himself. Don't blame the teachers for his poor decisions.

  13. Start cutting expenses school district because you will NOT get ANY property tax increases. The taxpayers have had enough of your waste and foolish uncontrolled spending.

  14. Unions are killing education nation-wide.

  15. "The sad part is, the greedy ones will surely not be the only victims of all this."

    Really, what you should say is that "the greedy ones will surely not be victimized AT ALL BECAUSE OF THIS." The greedy ones that support the union are teachers who are in no way in danger of being laid off, because they are so senior it would take the total destruction of the district to endanger their jobs. These are, all too often, the teachers that also continue to teach poorly (or not at all) and kick back to relax, knowing they can whine and make excuses to their union reps any time someone calls them out on their poor teaching "skills."

    They will get a raise and they won't care at all that they are facing a class of 50 instead of 35. Why should they? They don't teach, they just collect a check for glorified babysitting. There ARE very senior teachers that work hard and do a good job... they too are victims, and they are not generally part of the greedy grubber's club. They don't want slackers with seniority at their schools or in their departments, either.

    I just don't see how lazy, senior teachers are anything but rewarded and validated by this decision.

  16. Well being one of the teachers who faces possibly being laid off, I am definitely worried about my job at this point even as a second year teacher. I just hope the district can find more cuts in other areas rather than just axing teachers like myself. I work hard everyday and am trying to raise a kid. Now I'm not only faced with no job, but as well as no insurance. Welcome to the loose loose situation that I will be faced with. I am just hoping for the best at this point. So much for having a steady career out of college.

  17. Mik,,,what are you licensed to teach? It's not difficult or expensive to obtain multiple endorsements if you have had a well-rounded education or are willing to take some concentrated, specialized course work. How flexible are you? Like any employer your principal will look at all the skills that you can bring to the job including your enthusiasm and commitment. Do you participate in the school community? Are you an active participant in committee work? If you were hoping for a steady career out of college or even out of high school for that matter you are 40 years too late as the US economy has been changing rapidly.

    Considering that seniority is no longer the sole determinant of job security I don't understand why so many of you trolls are still riding that bete noir, possibly because you are simply spouting talk radio twaddle or engaging in the discharge of unctuous puffery. Speaking to teaching staff in my former school I have had conversations with several more senior teachers whose evaluations provided for corrective action and/or this risk of termination. Teacher, good ones, take this seriously and strive to improve.

  18. You can tell who is ignorant of the education system and not involved in CCSD. The problem is this new super is just like the president instead of trimming the fat at an administrative level, and keeping the grunt workers(teachers). He want's to do the opposite. We don't need all of these zones, and layers of zone administrators. Make the schools autonomous, with a general education constitution and we will thrive. All the bureaucracy is killing education not unions. Unions are protecting and underpaid and under-appreciated group of workers.

  19. I feel really bad for those teachers that will be laid off. Its not fair and the people of Nevada know that you work hard and do your best to educate our youth.
    That being said, welcome to the great recession!

  20. to all those tea baggers out there...
    to all those retirees...
    to all those without children in school...
    who were the beneficiary of a well funded school system...
    whose children were the beneficiaries of a well funded school system...
    and who now refuse to fund this school system adequately...
    to you i say...
    shame on you...
    and always remember this...
    karma is a son-of-a-gun!!!

  21. Layoff's of teacher's come as no surprise. Administrator's are overloaded in theSchool District

  22. You anti-union nuts...

    When NO ONE will subject themselves to teaching your urchins for the peanuts you throw, you will have succeeded in your mission.

    This has nothing to do with 'greedy teachers', and if you think it is so, you have NO CLUE as to the entirety of the issues at hand.

    I would ask that you professional Teacher Haters educate yourself on the issues, but YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH...
    You want to BASH UNIONS, and BASH TEACHERS.

    At the end of the day, you have to draw the line somewhere on the breaking of contractual obligations, be they public or private...
    Asking the teachers of CCSD to continue YEAR AFTER YEAR to throw their cash into a pile to pay CCSD's bills is ridiculous.
    It's NOT like their isn't enough money in the pot...
    It's HOW IT'S SPENT!

  23. Let's look at the numbers. The tentative 2012-2013 school year budget projected 1.78 billion for approximately 25000 full time positions. Figure 18000 teachers, 200 CCSD police, and approximatlely 4000 for support personnel. That comes to 2800 administrators for a district with 360 schools. Where are they all hidden?

  24. Teachers have a tough job. They go to school and teach the children as well as put up with all the trash people dish out to them. Say, a 7 hour day, then in the evening they have to grade papers and prepare for the next day. When you teach, you have to have lesson plans. You just can't wing it everyday. That being said, teachers have selected their line of work and pretty much know what they're getting into when they start. If they didn't look before they started, then consider it a lesson learned. The fact remains, there just isn't money laying around and the taxpayers are exhausted at this point. So, if you as a teacher get the pick slip, move on and find something else to do. Maybe parents should step up to the plate and contribute to their children's education more.

  25. It's the union and the school administration who hurt education. They both benefit from the system as it is. They report that our spending is only $7k per pupil when it's actually $13k. It's in their interest to skew numbers and put money into things that don't get into the classroom. If the kids and teachers had what they needed they would never be able to ask for more money. They purposefully starve the classrooms so they can enrich themselves and cry that they never have enough money.

  26. It was decided through arbitration that CCSD had to honor it's contract to teachers, period. Dwight Jones had the opportunity to not hire additional teachers last year with a plan in place at every school to live within it's means. They chose to ignore the prudent route and hired teachers who may or may not get re-hired. This is not the fault of the teachers who only asked that they be paid what was negotiated in their last contract. They are not the villains here.

  27. KCM: State workers do not have contracts and cannot collectively bargain. State workers have the worst public employee benefits in NV. Do not get injured out of NV. You will have little medical coverage. The only good thing state workers have is partially subsidized retirement medical (based on years of service), none you are a new hire.

  28. Why doesn't the media tell the whole story? They all seem to overlook the Arbitrator's reasoning for his decision, namely: the District has the resources if you remove all of the smoke and mirrors and media-blitz that has been undertaken.

    Here's the story:
    Arbitrator Finds District Has Ability to Pay?Decision Favors Clark County Teachers and Students

    The much-anticipated arbitration decision was announced May 2. The arbitrator, Philip Tamoush, stated he finds the Clark County School District has the ability to pay for the salary increases proposed in negotiations and that the Association's final offer was rational and achievable. The decision means that salaries for teachers will be adjusted for their educational experience.

    Additionally, the CCSD's fund balance will have more than $71 million at the end of the year--confirming that there is NO need to lay off a single teacher.

    "The Superintendent's office is being disingenuous when it talks about the need to lay off up to 1,000 teachers to balance its budget," said Clark County Education Association President Ruben Murillo. "They are misleading the public!"

    To summarize, this means:
    1. Salary movement for both education & experience prevails.
    2. Reduction in Force (RIF) language that incorporates the legislature?s intent, while protecting a teacher's right to due process, prevails.
    3. CCSD will have to negotiate with CCEA on PERS rate increases.

    For more information please go to www.ccea-nv.org.

    NSEA to Circulate Ballot Initiative to Increase K-12 Education Funding

    The Nevada State Education Association announced today it will pursue filing an initiative petition to increase funding for K-12 public education. This announcement comes on the heels of an arbitrator's ruling citing the Clark County School District has the ability to pay the raises sought in negotiations. For months the district has claimed it cannot pay for the raises threatening to layoff 1,000 teachers.

    "The Superintendent's office is being disingenuous when it talks about the need to lay off up to 1,000 teachers to balance its budget," said Clark County Education Association President Ruben Murillo. "They are misleading the public!"

    This debacle points to a larger problem facing schools all around Nevada and NSEA is committed to rolling up its sleeves to ensure this does not happen again.

    "What has happened here with the Clark County School District and CCEA puts an exclamation point on the need for a ballot initiative to be circulated that will fix the state's tax and revenue structure and NSEA will play a key role in passing such measure," announced NSEA Executive Director Gary Peck at CCEA's news conference. "We will play a leadership role in moving that initiative. We're in the process of putting that together and reaching out to other stakeholders who share our common interests to properly fund K-12 public education in Nevada."

  29. Cut a large percentage of administrators (and a significant percentage of the pay of those remaining)....

  30. i'm assuming mr. jones will be laying off approximately 7.5% of the district level administrators as well? it's all about shared sacrifice, right? right?

  31. Great job "pro-union people" Maybe you should tell the teachers face to face that they are getting laid off. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  32. There are several salient points that should be explored. First, the arbitrator making the decision was independent and fair; both sides agreed on his selection, and both sides understand why the decision went the way it did. Second, the union's accountants have identified almost 70 million dollars within the CCSD budget that can be used to prevent lay-offs, it's a matter of priorities. For the current school year, Superintendent Jones authorized the hiring of over 600 teachers, many of whom relocated from other parts of the country, while knowing that the budget issue wasn't settled and CCSD may not have the money to retain them. CCSD currently continues to recruit teachers from across the country (check the CCSD website: http://ccsd.net/employees/prospective/in...), while simultaneously claiming to make plans for a massive lay-off. Someone needs to hold the superintendent accountable for his mismanagement of CCSD classroom staffing. In the private sector, a blunder of this size would result in termination. In the spirit of open and honest disclosure; I am a member of CCEA. I am also a small business owner, and an investor in several sizable companies. I have a perspective from both sides of the bargaining table.

  33. "1,350 licensed positions may be eliminated if the arbitrator sided with the union."

    Sounds like at least 400 short sales of homes will be thrown at the Nevada banks, an easy $40 million in losses, not to mention a new glut of houses to drive existing prices down.

    Adding to that, once the websites go up about education in Nevada there will be large scale concerns from businesses about moving here, particularly from those that depend on an educated workforce.

    The effects of George W. Bush, Prayer in Chief, the man who would save the American way of life from the terrorists and evil spirits, are still coming to roost. It took eight years and $3 trillion to win a war against a third world country that wasn't a danger and now there is no money for schools, Social Security, Medicare, etc. The GOP is ready to cripple the Dept of Education to 'Rebuild the America We Love', but rebuild with what - Twinkies?

    The theme reoccurs that the National Debt is destroying the future of the children but those same heros of freedom have no concerns about cutting their education. We will "finish our obligation in Afghanistan" while dropping our own children's into a rat hole. How sweet. The Axis of Evil has become domesticated.

  34. LIBRA: Higher education teachers are precluded from collective bargaining for wages and benefits in Nevada. The question is why have state workers taken such a disproportionate share of the hits in this budget crisis?

  35. There's a lot of baloney being posted in comments on news websites throughout Las Vegas, concerning what the Arbitrator decided. Bless the LVRJ, they posted the Arbitrator's written decision but failed to attach the critical last 3 pages of it, telling WHO is going to be laid off. I found what looks like the full Arbitrator's decision at this pdf which does have the last 3 pages attached to it:

    http://www.mynews3.com/media/lib/166/5/f...

    It's worth reading the text of those last 3 pages, because in those last 3 pages, the Clark County Education Association's proposal for the order of lay-offs is included. It's not at a Principal's option as to who is laid off, as news stories indicated around Christmas. Instead, the first to be laid off are teachers who were recently disciplined and who didn't appeal their discipline or win the appeal of their discipline, and then it's district wide lay-offs based on seniority. The way the CCEA worded their document, that means that even a 4th year teacher who is liked by her Principal would be laid off in favor of a 5th year teacher at some other school.

    Read the actual Arbitrator's decision, people. He's not a lawyer and his writing is easy to understand.

    And if you are a teacher who was disciplined by your Principal or the CCSD, and your union didn't fight to protect you from discipline like the police unions do for their members, then you'll have a sense of the "value" of those union dues you've paid.

  36. As is often the case, there's legal and illegal, and right and wrong. It sounds like the union has the legal right to demand these terms that were negotiated as part of their contract. Whether or not it's the right thing to do, when we have the highest unemployment rate in the nation, along with some of the steepest drops in home values, is for people outside of the legal system to judge.

    Teachers bring up valid points. Administrators didn't face as much criticism when they negotiated their contract. The counterargument is to say that just because someone else does something wrong, doesn't give you the right to do the same. The same counterargument holds true for the firefighter pay comments.

    I think that a big part of the problem is that the union leadership picked the worst time to pick a fight. They should have been fighting tooth and nail when housing was booming and unemployment was low, but instead, they waited until now. Add that education reform is being demanded across the nation, and justifiably so in my opinion, and you have a very tense environment. I honestly feel that teachers are criminally underpaid work that they do. I also feel that the lack of accountability is a problem.

    My only concern is that the kids aren't negatively affected by all of this bickering by the adults. I don't think that their success/failure is being considered by either side of this debate.

  37. Government employees need to get used to pay and benefit reductions and layoffs because the economy is never coming back. Trillion plus per year federal deficits are the new normal and will only further sap the economy as there will not be any capital for investment. That means higher unemployment in the private sector and fewer tax dollars collected.
    The feds have pushed this country over the ledge economically speaking and it's just a matter of how far and fast we fall.

  38. Lay them off....

    We are sick and tired of being asked for more and more money - we the taxpayer wants the teacher union to suffer for a change.

    You have MADE us suffer with your always asking for more money. Teachers work part time jobs for full time pay....and then whine...

    We care a lot about our kids....
    But teachers do not care about the parents of the kids.

    They just sit there with their hands in our pockets stealing bread from our children

    and then wonder why Dick and Jane arrive in your classroom hungry...

    when the teacher comes in well rested from massive amounts of vacation.....and then a retirement pension...

    This MONEY should go to the kids

    But the sick horrible union just puts in it a pay check to their union boss.

    And Obama then takes our kids money for his campaign.

    LAY THEM OFF
    and FIRE THEM FOR LIFE

    THEN THEY MIGHT WAKE UP TO THEIR STUPIDITY.

    THANK HEAVENES - LET THE P)NK SLIPS GO OUT!

    WE ARE CELEBRATING...

    AS IT MIGHT WAKE YOU UP TO THE REAL IMPORTANT THING IS OUR KIDS

    AND NOT YOUR SICK UNION.

  39. The filthy slime that run the school systems in our country are like the filthy slime in every organization - business or government. They are top-heavy with "administrators", "vice-something or other"s, and "support" personnel. The people who do the actual work in these places usually get the shaft, work the hardest, and are the least appreciated. We spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to watch 22 big, fat guys throw a ball around at the super bowl, or dumping it into a slot machine (for examples), but have no money for teaching our children anything. We will wind up in the toilet very soon.

  40. We need that same MINDLESS arbitrator go out into the private sector and ORDER EVERY BUSINESS IN THIS NATION TO RAISE SALARIES DURING THIS DEPRESSION LIKE ECONOMY SO WE CAN KEEP PAYING GOVERNMENT WORKERS MONEY TAXPAYERS DON'T HAVE. CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF ALL OF THIS. Let the layoffs begin.

  41. Well we don't need all the teachers we have so I guess this can work out. But those who remain in K-12 will need to realize that ongoing contract negotiations are going to be tough and will result in pay cuts, employees contributing to retirement contributions and health care..... We have a new normal. And who would think that a teacher could do the simple math?

  42. You have one greedy Admin arguing with a another greedy union rep... Both of whom have large staff of people (friends) who will not suffer. They are arguing over who will have the last say and who gets to spend the taxpayers money.

    Leaving the teacher to be the pawn and the payment.

    The teacher gets shafted by the school admin who cares more about big offices and more staff. Than shells out their own money to pay union dues that go to help re-elect the man who helped cause the great depression and wants another shot at doing more damage....

    Jones is right on one thing. "sometimes doing the good deed goes punished" Doing a job you love and hope can help the future generation - and your own boss and leader screws you!

  43. Maybe it is just me -- but hasn't the news been clearly stating that this ruling is only in regards to the CURRENT CONTRACT and not next year's contract? This ruling only prevents CCSD from forcing teachers to pay back money they have already given them! How would you like your employer, private sector or not, from giving you pay you earned all year and then asking for a chunk of it back in one lump sum? AND if this ruling is for the CURRENT CONTRACT why would Dwight Jones be threatening layoffs? Only because he wants to distill fear in this workforce! Both sides have to go back to the table to determine what to do next year and Jones has already shown his cards -- don't side with me and I'll fire you! Now who is bulling who at school?

  44. Parochial schools get good results (kids that graduate, can read, write) with 60 students per teacher--something wrong with CCSD policy when 15-20 students per teacher results in massive dropouts and illiterate "graduates." They just can't seem to obtain the interest level of the average kid.

  45. Hint: CCSD is hiring science and math teachers and will be letting go "liberal arts" majors who have limited versatility. Attrition (not replacing retirees) may mean fewer actual lay-offs. Any one else catch the two teachers on Face-to-Face--one making in excess of $96K and the other in the mid 70's--and both pretended they didn't even make the average of $74K for CCSD teachers for part-time work? Gee and guess what happens after November when more and more of the illegal students will hike south and not be in CCSD anymore?? Fantastic. Might be some adjustment pain but we NEED for all this to happen. Government is imploding our entire economy with over-taxing and over-spending.

  46. I think it is great the union got their way, so what if 1350 of their fellow Union members get the axe, it is all about the betterment of pay for those who stay. I assume this is motivation to join? In time the Union will make this an issue blaming someone else for the problem they caused, text book Democratic process. Why there is a Union for public jobs is a whole nother' subject..like the government is an evil employer who breaks all the labor laws..fat after fat and this is what the end result is..

  47. The arbitrators did NOT give us a raise. We merely get to keep what we have, such as it is.

    Last year, we agreed to freeze our salary. This year, we just get to keep what we have. THERE IS NO SALARY INCREASE! We do not get anything more in our paycheck. In fact, we get less because we now contribute to our medical insurance and our retirement. We do not have social security benefits nor unemployment benefits.

    We did NOT have a cost of living increase for a decade now and when money was plenty. All other government agencies - the state employees, other county employees, the police, the firemen, and everyone else got a raise. WE DID NOT! And their salary are way higher than ours. A plumber from the county whom I hired a few years back for my home's plumbing problems made $80,000 that year while I, with a masters' degree, made $38,000. My accountant told me that one of his clients, a dancer in a gentleman's club, reported $397,000 income that year.

    This is Las Vegas and I realize priorities are a bit askew. I don't begrudge them of their income because they deserve it considering the difficulty of their job. We have a very difficult job too with the pressures teachers have to deal with these days, in addition to the enormous responsibility of teaching and learning. Public apathy makes it painfully harder. We were left behind all these years, we just want to keep what we have.

    Direct your anger to where it belongs. Fight for responsibility and accountability in politics. Fight for fiscal responsibility from our school board, higher administrators, and state leaders. Fight for the removal of bad teachers and administrators, but leave a little dignity and appreciation for those who work their hearts out.

    Thank you very much.

  48. OK. You want us to be honest with kids:

    Here' the reality. You don't have to go to school. Be a drug dealer and you will make bank. You don't have to go to college. Just work in the entertainment industry. Heck a stripper can make hundreds of thousands. Rob a bank! Go to someone's house and steal their money and jewelry. Pretend to be a financial whiz and steal millions, even billions from your clients. Lie to people - become a politician and enrich yourself. Be a lobbyist. When you get a lot of money, be a corporate raider and make even more money.

    Do you want teachers to 'tell the truth' and encourage children that way? Oh, my job would be A LOT EASIER. There is plenty of 'realia' I can show them. The newspapers are full of them!

    This is what I fight against, every day of my life. And, it is getting extremely difficult:

    "My neighbor did not finish high school, but he has a red flashy car and a lot of gold around his neck."

    "My Mom showed me yesterday, how to hide a makeup I like at Walmart so we do not have to pay for it!"

    These comments came from my first graders a few years back. Just a few days ago, a boy came to school to report his mom and sisters are dead!

    Deal with that Uncle!

    Yes, I am putting a 'wool over my my students eyes.' Amidst this chaotic and apathetic society, I teach them RESPONSIBILITY, RESPECT, and RESILIENCE - something they DO NOT see every day.

    You bet I deserve the salary I get! If you don't think so, you can try it!

  49. Here's a challenge for the reading disabled: Read between the lines. Seems rather obvious that the governor has explained to the Super that once Obamacare is here, Nevada is insolvent and every dime HAS TO go to MEDICAID. Forget K-12.

  50. Parents can't provide food and shelter for their kids and you want them to pay more taxes?