Hundreds of Clark County educators form new teacher's union - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Hundreds of Clark County educators form new teacher's union

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Hundreds of Clark County educators are forming a new teacher's union. Hundreds of Clark County educators are forming a new teacher's union.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Hundreds of Clark County educators are forming a new teacher’s union. This comes after the current union voted to cut ties with state and national teacher’s associations.

Up until Thursday, the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) was the only union for educators in the county. It has nearly 11,000 members.

But after voting to leave state and national unions, a group of teachers said they still wanted that support.

The new union is called the National Education Association of Southern Nevada (NEA-SN). Before the announcement, it had at least 500 teachers signed up, ready to leave CCEA.

Nevada State Education Association president Ruben Murillo said since the announcement, he’s received dozens of messages from teachers, interested in joining. He estimated the total doubled since Thursday morning.

“It’s like a weight has been lifted off all of our shoulders,” Murillo said. “Now we can hit the road running, foster and grow our membership.”

Teachers who joined the union said they are looking for a fresh start.

“Now when I go into my classroom, I don't have to worry about having the stress of hearing about ‘We're having this problem,’ or ‘the union isn't getting along,’” teacher Mercedes Krause said. “I don't have to think about that. I can just go and have a positive start to my day. And of course, that trickles down to students.”

The new union promised more benefits. Leaders said strong support in Carson City and Washington D.C. will help teachers get what they deserve.

“They’re not happy with their health insurance, their professional growth plan,” Murillo said. “They're not happy with the lack of representation.”

But those are all issues CCEA said will improve once it cuts ties with state and national unions.

“More local control, being independent and having more resources to win for and to do things for educators, particularly in these challenging times,” CCEA executive director John Vellardita said.

He added this is not a surprising move.

“This is happening nationally, where the state and national organizations are losing locals, they want locals to be ATM machines, just give them money,” he said. “So we're not the first, we're not the last.”

Both sides were arguing their position is the best choice for educators.

“It’s always a good thing; the more voices the better,” Murillo said.

“I don't think there's going to be any competition,” Vellardita said. “It's going to have a shelf life of a relatively short period of time then fizzle out.”

Both unions said this will not affect students.

HOPE for Nevada, a parent advocacy group, sent out this statement:

“It’s unfortunate to see such a divide in a time when teachers are a unified force in other states. This affects our classrooms because as long as our education community is splintered, we lack a unified force to compel our state legislators to fund our teachers and our classrooms appropriately.”

Those who sign up for NEA-SN are immediately granted acceptance.

Hundreds of teachers will be members of both unions until they can disaffiliate in Sept.

CCEA is the recognized bargaining group.

Murillo said since NEA-SN is newly established, it does not have that status. But he said that doesn’t mean educators won’t have a say.

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