Analysis

CCSD’s sexual-misconduct epidemic
shows need for bargaining transparency

Leading states define government labor-management negotiations as public meetings

A recent epidemic of sexual-misconduct revelations has the Clark County School District scrambling to draft new policies.

The new rules are intended to better govern communications between district employees and students, especially with regards to social media and texting.

While more explicit district standards in this area may be helpful, alone this simply won’t be enough. What makes such misconduct possible in the first place is that the teacher union systematically prioritizes the job security of its members over the safety and security of students.

This shows up most clearly in the lack of public transparency within the collective bargaining process — the process through which the government and its organized workers negotiate for a new contract.

Behind closed doors, it’s all too easy for the representatives of government and of government unions to form a common front against the public — whether it’s the taxpaying public or, as in this case, the youth and families the district was established to serve.

Take for example Article 12, Section 10 of the current collective bargaining agreement between CCSD and the CCEA teacher union.

Often dubbed the “pass the trash” clause, it reads:

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Education

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part 8: District's internal financial controls revealed as effectively nonexistent

In October 2013, the executive director of the administrators union for the Clark County School District was highly agitated over draft policy guidelines being offered for the school board’s review.

Although the guidelines seemed normal for government officials — requiring them to publicly disclose conflicts of interest — Stephen Augspurger nevertheless was saying he took great offense at the draft rules.

Augspurger, chief of the Clark County Association of School Administrators & Professional-Technical Employees, thought he saw within one draft insulting “insinuations” that one or more district administrators might be doing something improper.

“Specifically,” he told trustees, “if you go to section 12, in 6.04 and read through that language, I hope that you, as I, will take offense to what is being said there.”

Whereupon — standing before the district board of trustees — Augspurger continued through a remarkable seven-minute public diatribe [mp3 recording here] lambasting the most recent editor of the heavily marked-up draft, Trustee Erin Cranor.

Augspurger’s criticisms that day, if examined, appear to largely reflect his own preconceptions: For months the board had been making changes in its governance policies to allow stronger fiscal oversight of the district. Part Seven of this series reported that board activity in some detail.

But what was perhaps most remarkable was that the union chief also seemed to object in principle to any board effort to state clear policies against corrupt activity within the district.

Said Augsburger, referring to section 12 of that draft:

Because I think the insinuation there is [that] there is wrongdoing occurring in the Clark County School District. And I think the only logical outcome, by reading that paragraph, is that wrongdoing is being done by administrators.

I think that’s a disservice to the people that I represent.

Multiple years of hidden CCSD administrator corruption

As would soon become public information, however, corruption of significant scope had been ongoing for a minimum of seven years in at least one corner of the district’s central office.

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Analysis

Police union ‘tricks’ LVMPD into more
millions for higher salaries, pensions

Negotiators taken to cleaners in latest LVPPA negotiations, new state law shows

As if Clark County residents needed a reminder, the unrivaled political power of local government unions is again on full display.

This time, the involved union is the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which appears to have duped Metro negotiators into conceding an additional $6 million for salaries and retirement benefits for, essentially, nothing in return.

Alternatively, Metro brass — recognizing the giveaway in progress — may have simply been content to hide behind the rationale advanced by the union.

What brings all this into focus is the recent (and predictable) passage and signing into law of Senate Bill 176, mandating body-worn cameras (“BWCs”) for all Nevada police officers.

Thus, Clark County taxpayers are now paying police and corrections officers additional millions to merely comply with state law.

Moreover, this may well have been the LVPPA’s strategy all along.

Here’s the background. As reported by Nevada Journal last fall, the LVPPA and Las Vegas Metro PD agreed in September on a new collective-bargaining agreement through June 2019, following the expiration of their prior agreement in June 2016.

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CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part Seven: When reforms make headway, The Empire Strikes Back

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part Six: What the Bramby Tollen episodes reveal about CCSD

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part Five: Disgusted and puzzled, a highly paid consultant walks away

Is civil forfeiture a boon for law enforcement?

Attorney General’s 2016 report suggests it may well be

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part Four: District management’s ERP failure
is par for the course for government entities

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part Three: Internal district memo say ERP failure
‘directly related to the lack of proper management’

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part Two: Why large school districts facilitate waste, fraud and corruption

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part One: Lydia Segal identifies the fatal flaw in America’s big school districts

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