CCEA official misleads teachers; union takes voice vote on CCSD contract

Victor Joecks

Last week, I reported that Clark County Education Association teachers would be voting on a contract proposal by the Clark County School District at a meeting last night.

But when Jon Ralston asked CCEA Vice President Vikki Courtney about the vote last week on Face to Face, Courtney said, “There’s not going to be a vote.”

Except that last night at its meeting, CCEA members voted on the contract, ultimately rejecting it.

Teachers Reject CCSD’s Proposal 

… The first business item was to conduct introductions of the CCEA Executive Board and the Negotiations Team, followed by the contract update. Teachers learned about the status of contract negotiations with the Clark County School District (CCSD) and reviewed the District’s proposal. Dozens of teachers took to the microphones to voice their concerns and opinions. After discussion, teachers provided guidance to the Negotiations Team to reject the proposal, reaffirming their belief that CCSD had used the layoff of 416 of their colleagues as a bargaining chip to get teachers to enter into a concessionary contract.

I’ve been told that CCEA orchestrated a voice vote to reject both CCSD’s contract offer and CCEA’s contract offer. As presented, the only difference between the contract offers was that CCSD called for teachers to take three furlough days, while CCEA proposed teachers only would have taken two.

This is how CCEA officials treat teachers. Put a contract in front of a few hundred of them (out of 17,500) and force them into a voice vote on a proposal just minutes after teachers learned what the offers were.

As I wrote last week:

My prediction is that union officials want an overwhelming vote one way or the other (probably to reject the contract), and the best way to ensure that happens is to stack the audience with “in the know” union members and ensure they vote the “right” way.

CCEA may have needed to conduct this charade in order to void its latest offer to the district, which, I’ve learned, union officials want to withdraw now that all laid-off teachers have been rehired. But CCEA’s Policy Handbook states that “[a]ll ratification of collective bargaining agreements is done by written ballot or online voting,” so I’m not sure if last night’s voice vote qualifies or not.

And the ordinary teacher who couldn’t make the meeting or didn’t know his or her contract was going to be voted on? Union officials were content with not giving those teachers a voice. Again.

Unfortunately, because union officials have taken away the choice and voice of teachers for 50 weeks of the year, any teacher upset with how the union is being run isn’t able to opt out until July 1, 2013.