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Over 700 school district employees exit Nevada State Education Association

By ThisIsReno

LAS VEGAS — Over 700 teachers and support staff workers left their respective local affiliates of the Nevada State Education Association over the last summer, the Nevada Policy Research Institute announced today.

At least seven support-staff unions, including those in the Clark and Washoe County School Districts, have also fallen below 50 percent membership and would be decertified upon a vote withdrawing recognition by their local school board.

The decreasing number of union employees comes after NPRI undertook numerous efforts to let teachers and support staff employees know about their ability to drop union membership, but only by submitting written notice from July 1 to 15.

These membership statistics come directly from school-district officials in response to public records requests.

The Clark County School District saw the biggest drop in the number of teachers and support-staff workers belonging to their local union. At the close of the 2013-14 school year, the Clark County Education Association had 10,782 members out of 17,851 teachers, or 60.4 percent. At the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, CCEA membership had fallen to under 59 percent with just 10,637 of CCSD’s 18,033 teachers a member of the union. That’s a decline of 327 union members — with net membership falling 145, while the number of teachers increased by 182.

At the close of the last year, 5,642 of CCSD’s 11,225 support staffers were members of the Education Support Employee Association. At the start of this school year just 5,477 of CCSD’s 11,132 support staffers are members of ESEA, , a net decline of 137 members. With a membership of just 49.2 percent of workers, the CCSD board of trustees could vote immediately to withdraw recognition from ESEA according to NRS 288.160.3(c).

NSEA’s support-staff unions in at least six other school districts, including Washoe, Carson City, Douglas County, Elko, Humboldt and White Pine School Districts, have also fallen below the 50 percent threshold.

In the Washoe County School District, for instance, just 21 percent or 557 of its 2,658 support employees, are union members, which includes a decline of 96 union members over the summer. In the Elko County School District fewer than 20 percent of support staffers are union members, while support-staff union membership in Carson City is under 39 percent.

In early 2014, over 60.4 percent or 2,331 of the Washoe County School District’s 3,853 teachers were union members. In the fall of 2014, the Washoe Education Association had added seven new members, but the total number of teachers had increased by 109. On net, its union membership decreased by over 100 and the percentage of union membership among teachers fell to 59 percent.

“This summer, over 700 school district employees decided to leave the Nevada State Education Association,” said Victor Joecks, NPRI executive vice president. “Hundreds of these employees left — or never joined in the first place — after learning from NPRI that union membership is optional. NPRI is proud to have empowered teachers and support staffers with the information they needed.”

“This year alone, school district employees have given themselves a raise worth over $450,000 by keeping more of their salaries for their families instead of putting those dollars into the hands of union bosses.”

Joecks noted that, in total, NPRI’s information efforts have released over 2,150 teachers and support staffers from Nevada State Education Association membership and now saves school-district employees over $1.5 million a year. Over the last three years, NPRI’s efforts have helped school-district employees move over $3.2 million out from under the control of union bosses.

“In the last three years, CCEA membership has plummeted from 65 percent of teachers to less than 59 percent.” Joecks said. “In at least seven school districts, support staff union membership is under 50 percent. It’s time for school boards in these districts to withdraw recognition from NSEA’s local chapters and allow workers to form local-only unions, such as those that exist in states like Kansas.

“Teachers and support staff workers around Nevada have voted with their feet and showed their displeasure with NSEA. They’re tired of lousy customer service, high salaries for union officials and the union spending school district employees’ money on political causes those employees often don’t agree with.

“Until the NSEA views its potential members as customers to serve instead of cash cows to exploit, decreasing membership will continue.”

SOURCE: NPRI.

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