Public Sector Bargaining Out of Control in Nevada’s Clark County


Clark County Education Association teacher union officials are running amok.  Their shameless commandeering has school board officials looking like the chickens overrun by the fox, all flapping and squawking but unable to take control of the henhouse.  

The Las Vegas Review Journal has the story: 

Two months ago, the union got its pay raises, courtesy of an out-of-state arbitrator. . .

Because the union would not support a pay freeze, more than 1,000 teaching positions were cut through retirements, attrition and about 400 layoffs. . .

CCEA President Ruben Murillo told the Clark County School Board last month that the union was “willing to fund placing teachers back in the classroom.” School district sources told the Review-Journal’s Trevon Milliard the union had offered to drain its health insurance trust of $22 million to cover the salaries and benefits of the 400 laid-off teachers for one year. That gesture, by itself, amounted to an admission that the school district’s $2 billion budget could not be balanced without job cuts, and that what’s left of the teacher workforce cannot be sustained if salaries continue to grow.

But, at the same time, the union has called for another round of pay raises come August, based on seniority and continuing education – raises that likely would require the school district to eliminate the 400 jobs the union says it wants to save, plus hundreds more. . .

All of this underscores the importance of two simple public-sector collective bargaining reforms. First, bargaining sessions between unions and government representatives should be open to the public, so taxpayers can judge the proceedings. Second, elected bodies should be the ultimate deciders of contract disputes, not arbitrators who live in other states and have no stake in their own decisions.