Home>702Times>Hearing Scheduled for Emergency Motion in Clark County School District’s Battle Against Teacher “Sickouts”

Hearing Scheduled for Emergency Motion in Clark County School District’s Battle Against Teacher “Sickouts”

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, September 13, 2023 12:04 pm

A crucial hearing is set for Wednesday as the Clark County School District seeks to put an end to the disruptive “rolling sickouts” that have plagued several schools since the beginning of September. District Judge Crystal Eller will preside over the hearing at the Regional Justice Center, where the district will present its emergency motion. These sickouts have led to at least eight school closures and significant operational disruptions at two other campuses, posing serious challenges for both students and educators alike.

Background on the “Sickout”

The unexpected staffing shortages, which have prompted the sickouts, began to emerge on September 1st and have raised concerns among parents and school administrators. While these events have created substantial disruptions, the Clark County Education Association (CCEA), representing around 18,000 licensed employees, maintains that the school staffing issues are not part of any union-led actions.

The District’s Emergency Motion

On Monday, the school district filed an emergency motion seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to halt what they characterize as a “continuance of a strike” organized by educators represented by the teachers’ union. This motion was filed within the context of a case initiated by the district in late July, where they sought a court order to prevent a future teacher strike. The union had previously filed a motion to dismiss that case.

Last month, District Judge Jessica Peterson denied the district’s initial injunction request, citing insufficient evidence to suggest that a strike was imminent. However, she expressed concern about statements made by CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita and indicated her readiness to reconvene court proceedings if the situation changed.

Nevada’s Stance on Strikes

It’s worth noting that public employees in Nevada, including teachers, are prohibited from going on strike. State law defines a strike as “an absence from work” without a valid reason such as illness “founded in fact” and includes a “stoppage of work, slowdown, or interruption of operations.” The penalties for engaging in a strike can be severe, with potential fines of up to $50,000 per day for the union and up to $1,000 per day for union officers.

District’s Declaration of Impasse

The district declared an impasse on Tuesday following 11 collective bargaining sessions with the teachers’ union dating back to late March. This declaration further complicates the ongoing negotiations between the district and the union.

Court Filings on Tuesday

On Tuesday, the district submitted court documents alleging that the school closure at Southwest Career and Technical Academy was coordinated. According to the district, a specific teacher at the school emerged as the leader of strike efforts, using private email addresses to coordinate the sickout discreetly.

In response, the union swiftly filed its opposition to the district’s emergency motion, stating that the district lacks the necessary evidence to justify such an injunction. The union cited factors such as the three-day Labor Day weekend, the start of cold and flu season, and the ongoing concerns related to COVID-19 as reasons for teacher absences. They argued that the district’s inability to provide an adequate number of substitute teachers and the existing teacher shortages contributed to staffing issues.


As the hearing unfolds, the fate of the Clark County School District’s efforts to curb the disruptive sickouts hangs in the balance. The outcome of this legal battle will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for both educators and students in the district, as well as the ongoing negotiations between the district and the teachers’ union.

Credits: Review Journal

Copyright 2022 702 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.

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