Despite being it being illegal for Nevada’s public employees to strike, Teachers in Las Vegas and vicinity vote to authorize a walkout.
LAS VEGAS, NV—The members of the Clark County Education Association has voted to authorize their union to call a strike if Nevada’s legislature does not cough up another $120 million to go toward the existing education budget.
According to the CCEA, the online vote included more than 5,000 teachers of the union’s 11,000 members.
As Nevada is a Right-to-Work state that prohibits mandatory union membership or fees, although 78 percent of those 5,000 voted to strike, the number of those who voted to strike is actually less than one-quarter of the 18,000 licensed personnel in the Clark County School District.
To complicate matters further, Clark County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jesus Jara has already stated that budget cuts may be necessary next academic year, and that there is not enough money to honor the 3 percent raises publicly promised to educators by Gov. Steve Sisolak during his State of the State, reports the Nevada Current.
Despite the fact that public-employee strikes are illegal in Nevada, and could cause the union to be fined up to $50,000 per day and strikers could be dismissed, the CCEA does not seem to care.
“We don’t see that as a viable threat,” CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita stated, given the struggles the district already faces recruiting and hiring educators.
“If funds reach our schools and educators, there will be no strike. If not, then we will be forced to strike until those funds are secured,” CCEA’s President Vikki Courtney said.
CCEA Educators Vote to Authorize a Strike pic.twitter.com/MVDCKifllS
— Clark County Education Association (@cceanv) May 12, 2019
In response to the strike authorization vote, Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara stated:
About 4,000 of our teachers have indicated they like to strike next school year. While this vote might not tell us how the majority of our 18,000 teachers feel, it does demonstrate the frustration now with the lack of funding for education in Nevada. I stand with our teachers, support professionals and administrators in advocating for additional funding for education, but as superintendent, I have an obligation to provide 180 days of instruction to ur 321,000 students and comply with Nevada law. Teacher strikes are illegal in Nevada because educators provide an essential service to our students. I will take necessary legal action to prevent an illegal strike while continuing to advocate in the final days of the legislative session to improve teaching and learning conditions.
— CCSD (@ClarkCountySch) May 13, 2019
Although there have been a number of teacher’s strikes over the past year, most have been in states with Republican governors.
Nevada’s governor, Steve Sisolak, is a Democrat.