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Clark County substitute teachers protest over payroll issues

Updated February 14, 2020 - 10:24 am

Clark County School District substitutes and support staff turned out in force at Thursday’s School Board meeting to protest payroll issues that have left some of them unpaid or underpaid for three pay cycles.

Employees began to notice issues with the district’s new Human Capital Management System in early January, when checks for teachers, substitutes and staff arrived with errors. Teachers went unpaid for work done outside of regular classroom hours, while support staff were underpaid or overpaid, and substitutes saw no pay at all for some hours worked.

The district employees were joined by representatives from Teamsters Local 14 and the Education Support Employees Association, who said they wanted to see a sense of urgency from the district in addressing the issue.

“When you work a full week, you should be paid for a full week,” said Teamsters Local 14 organizing director Jason Gateley. “It’s very simple.”

Addressing a packed boardroom at the start of the meeting, Superintendent Jesus Jara said different issues have caused the errors and that the district is looking to identify the causes so they do not recur. He added that the district has issued three out-of-cycle paychecks and has two more planned to correct pay discrepancies.

District representatives added that the payroll department has been working nights and weekends to fix system issues and correct pay inaccuracies.

But Lisa Guzman, executive director of the Nevada State Education Association, said another extra pay period isn’t a complete solution.

“We want them to cut the checks, but also make sure (employees) won’t be stressed out the next pay period,” Guzman said. “They need to get people in here and help them with the Human Capital Management System.”

In addition to the payroll issue, substitutes have been organizing around a campaign for better pay and benefits since December.

Substitute Fernando Valenzuela chastised Jara for not responding over the past three months to their concerns, which include a pay rate that hasn’t risen in more than 10 years and benefits that aren’t available to first-year substitute teachers. The starting rate for subs is $90 per day, or about $12.50 an hour.

He added that the district’s reliance on substitutes in long-term vacancy positions saves it tens of millions of dollars per year but creates a shortage of substitutes available for daily work, which affects full-time teachers as well.

“CCSD simply does not prioritize giving substitute teachers a livable wage,” Valenzuela said.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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