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April 23, 2014

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education:

District, teachers union reach tentative agreement on contract

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Steve Marcus

Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky during a Clark County School District orientation session for new teachers at the Venetian Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Over 1,700 teachers took part in the orientation.

The Clark County School District and the local teachers union will start the school year with a tentative work agreement.

Terms of the tentative pact, reached Thursday night, were not released, but union members will vote on the proposal at a ratification meeting Wednesday at Western High School. The one-year contract will address salary and working conditions, as well as long-term health care options for some 18,000 Clark County schoolteachers.

If the majority of Clark County Education Association members approve the tentative contract, it will be put to a final vote by the School Board at either its Sept. 12 or Sept. 26 meeting. If approved, it will be the first time a contract has been in place at the start of school since the 2010-11 school year.

"It's a very welcome change to be able to start the school year on a positive note," union spokeswoman Letty Elias said. "The last two years, our contract fell into arbitration."

"We are glad to have a tentative agreement in place before the beginning of the school year to provide our teachers with peace of mind as they start their work in the classroom," School Board president Carolyn Edwards said in a statement.

The news comes less than a month after the School Board unanimously approved a raise for support staff employees that will cost the district $2.5 million over the next biennium. Skorkowsky also approved raises for some of his cabinet members, although his administrative reorganization is expected to save the district $145,000.

School starts Monday in Clark County, the nation's fifth-largest school district.

“Great way to start a new year,” Clark County Schools Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky said in a Twitter message Friday afternoon about the contract. “I’m so excited about the collaborative attitude of all! It’s going to be an amazing school year!”

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