Las Vegas Sun

November 30, 2015

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Clark County School District sues teachers’ union over spending

Facing steep budget cuts, the Clark County School District is suing the local teachers' union in hopes of avoiding a deadlock over certain spending reductions.

The district filed suit Friday in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas against the Clark County Education Association and is asking the court to decide an issue over increased retirement plan contributions.

The suit says the district's employees participate in the state Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and that on Dec. 3 PERS notified the district that on July 1 the employees' contribution rate must increase 1.125 percent.

The lawsuit says the increase must be paid in lieu of an equivalent salary increase or be counterbalanced by an equivalent reduction in the employees' salaries.

This cost to employees will be $14 million and it's actually paid by the district, the lawsuit said.

"This amount equates to approximately 200 full-time district employee positions," the lawsuit noted, adding the district and the union are negotiating a new contract for the 2011-12 school year while the Legislature weighs deep spending reductions.

The lawsuit seeks a court order "declaring that in the event the Clark County Education Association and the district are unable to agree on the source of the employees' portion of the PERS increase by 1.125 percent by July 1, the district is required to abide by (state law)" providing for a salary cut to cover the PERS increase.

Such a court order would be superseded by the final determination of the contract by agreement or an arbitrator's decision.

The union has not yet responded to the suit.

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