Clark County teachers’ union and the school district are currently embroiled in contract negotiations, which have not been fruitful in recent weeks. It has gotten to the point that the Clark County School District obtained a court injunction to stop the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) from going on a teacher strike in the form of a sickout.
Clark County District Court Judge Crystal Eller agreed with the school district and issued the injunction against the county teachers’ union, which represents 18,000 teachers, to stop sickout protests. CCEA filed an emergency motion that claimed the judge’s injunction was “facially invalid for vagueness, non-specificity and overbreadth” and asked the state’s Supreme Court to pause the injunction.
A sickout is where teachers call in sick from work as a coordinated effort to go on strike. But under Nevada law, a strike by public employees like teachers is illegal and can result in penalties like a union fine of up to $50,000 each day and jail time for strike leaders.
Yet teachers called out sick for a single day at eight schools in the district since September 1, which the judge believed constituted an illegal strike.
Also, there was a leak to the local media of a slide shown to teachers entitled, “Rolling School Outs” with accompanying bullet points “Selective Engagement” and “Selective Sick Outs.” The slide listed the sickout idea to thousands of teachers in attendance, which meeting took place on July 29. The union disputed the media leak, with CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita saying the slides weren’t “validated.”
It is unclear when the contract negotiations will be completed between the school district and teachers, but in the meantime, it seems that both are ready to fight in the short-term.