‘Preposterous’: Judge Tells Striking Teachers To Get Back In The Classroom Or Risk Jail Time

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A Nevada judge on Wednesday ordered the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) to stop its strike that forced schools to cancel classes due to teachers absences.

The Clark County School District and the teachers union, which represents about 18,000 employees, have been in contract negotiations since March regarding pay, benefits and working conditions. During the negotiations, Las Vegas-area schools have seen staffing shortages, which the judge declared as a strike, ruling that the union could face penalties if the absences continue, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Major Auto Union Lays Out Plans For ‘Targeted’ Strike At Big Three Plants)

The staffing shortages have caused CCSD campus closures and classes to be combined. Classes were canceled on Friday at Sewell Elementary School and Givens Elementary School, causing the city of Las Vegas to provide temporary child care at a community center. Gibson Elementary School was closed Tuesday and two other schools had to relocate students to large areas on campus, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

“The court finds that a strike has occurred,” Clark County District Judge Crystal Eller said in a hearing. “The idea that this can be ignored, that these are sick call-outs, and that they are actually due to someone being sick is preposterous.”

To stop and prevent teacher strikes, CCSD filed an emergency motion in July seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Public employees in Nevada are not allowed to strike, so the union could face up to $50,000 per day and $1,000 per day for union officers if the strike continues, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Thankfully, the court found that a strike has occurred,” CCSD media relations department told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Because of the evidence of coordinated work stoppages by CCEA and its members, the court imposed a preliminary injunction to prevent any ongoing disruptions to the school district’s operations. This action protects the children of the Clark County School District so they can receive the education they are entitled to.”

Union officials claim the absences have not been caused by union actions and that a strike is not an option, the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes.

The CCEA did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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