Proposed CCSD teacher contract contains five types of pay increases
Clark County School District officials love secrecy. CCSD is fighting a public-records lawsuit filed by NPRI seeking government email addresses. They also routinely provide little notice about how they plan to spend tax dollars.
That’s exactly what’s happened with the new contract between CCSD and the Clark County Education Association, which negotiates a single contract for over 18,000 teachers.
On the agenda for tomorrow’s board meeting is approving this new contract. As CCSD officials routinely complain that they don’t have enough money, even scoring a recent New York Times piece featuring administrators fretting about the growth in student population, the public might expect that this contract pinches pennies.
After all, if old facilities are really harming the learning of CCSD students, wouldn’t CCSD negotiators insist on a contract that reflects that priority?
The proposed one-year contract for teachers contains five separate pay increases — none related to how effect a teacher is helping students learn.
- A “step” increase for experience, including new “steps” for CCSD’s longest tenured teachers
- A “column” increase for earning advanced degrees
- Paying for teachers’ share of increased PERS contributions
- A 1 percent increase to the salary table effective March 2015
- Eliminating employer and employee contributions to the Retiree Health Plan
Teachers will also have to pay $20 a month more per employee and dependent(s) for health insurance. The District is continuing to negotiate a district-wide health plan, which the public should make sure doesn’t consist of putting all CCSD employees in union-controlled Teachers Health Trust.
In total, these raises will cost the district over $43 million. These additional expenditures will also do nothing to increase student achievement.
Contracts like this, which feature spending increases without any additional accountability, are part of the reason why Nevada’s inflation-adjusted, per-pupil spending has nearly tripled in the last 50 years, while results have declined for decades.
This kind of spending is hardly an isolated incident. Last year’s contract with teachers contained six different types of pay increases.
This contract also gives a preview of how — without substantial reforms to NRS 288 — additional education funding from the margin tax or legislative action will be wasted without increasing achievement.
Fortunately there are dozens of ways to increase student achievement without spending more.
Victor Joecks is executive vice president of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a non-partisan, free-market think tank. For more visit http://npri.org.