Updates on Nevada/Clark County Union Dispute

The battle between the Nevada State Education Association and its largest local affiliate, the Clark County Education Association, continues with no resolution in sight (background here). Here are the latest developments:

* If the dispute over the allocation of dues money is to be settled through litigation, it promises to take a very long time. The 8th District Court set its first hearings on the dueling lawsuits. Next Tuesday the court will hear arguments on a motion to dismiss by the Clark County School District. The school district is the entity that actually deducts dues from paychecks, but it is caught in the middle of this fracas and wants to be relieved of any role in it.

This is a side issue that doesn’t deal with the actual point of contention between the two unions, so strap in for the long haul.

* In the meantime, CCEA is keeping up the communications pressure with members. The local officers asked the rank-and-file to respond to a survey, stating their preference between higher dues or a shift of 50% of state dues to CCEA.

You don’t create a survey like this without being pretty confident of the results, so it’s clear that CCEA wants to demonstrate to NSEA that it has popular support for its demands. It would also make a return to the status quo ante virtually impossible.

In a strict contest between CCEA and NSEA, the local has the advantage. NSEA needs CCEA’s money more than CCEA needs NSEA’s services. But NSEA has an ace-in-the-hole: the National Education Association. NEA can’t allow locals to hold state and national dues hostage, so it will spend – and probably overspend – whatever it takes to win this in court.