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Deal Reached with School Support Staff Union | News

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Deal Reached with School Support Staff Union
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LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County School District and it's second largest union have reached a budget deal. This effects 12,000 members of the school support staff currently fearing layoffs and deep pay cuts.

The teacher's union is also close to reaching a deal with the district.

A memo from Superintendent Walt Rulffes says they are close to an agreement with the Clark County Education Association teacher's union. Just days ago there was talk of stalemate and arbitration.

"We were facing this deadline of the May 19th budget adoption. The only alternative the school board has if we don't have the shared sacrifice would be to reduce the labor force," said Rulffes.

In the budget deal, school support staff, including bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers, give up pay raises for at least one year. The union will dip into their reserve funds and CCSD will delay textbook purchases, saving the district $10 million. 

The deal is for three years.

The school district can't guarantee pay cuts or furloughs if the situation becomes worse than expected next year. The budget breakthrough still leaves union leaders relieved.

"No one can see into the future, but this is for a three year agreement. I expect the district will honor their agreement," said Education Support Employees Association union president Belinda Yealy.

The deal with support staff paves the way for a deal with the CCEA. Its president won't describe the terms of their possible deal, but the memo from the superintendent says increased medical costs will be paid by the teacher's health trust at no additional costs to the district. That deal could save the remainder of the $28 million CCSD shortfall.

All of the closed door meetings over the past few weeks appear to be paying off. Despite a parental campaign for an interim superintendent, both unions compliment retiring Superintendent Rulffes for his leadership.

The support staff union members should vote early next week. A deal with the teacher's union is expected around the same time in order to meet the May 19, 2010 budget deadline.

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