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NV Educators Label Gibbon's Pay Plan "Unfair"

January 22, 2009

Las Vegas, NV – Governor Gibbons just heard what Nevada teachers think about his proposed pay cuts, and that can be summed up in one word - "unfair." Gibbons announced six-percent pay cuts for teachers and other state employees as part of his plan to balance the state's nearly $6-billion two-year budget aimed at not raising taxes.

Nevada State Education Association president Lynn Warne says it's wrong for Gibbons to balance the budget on the backs of educators and state employees. Warne believes they are hearing an unfair message from the governor.

"We're going to still be able to provide mining companies and big business with tax breaks, but you are going to have to make-do with less."

The pay cuts would save the state about $400 million over the next two years. Gibbons says, without the cuts, the only alternative would be layoffs. Warne disagrees, arguing Gibbons is being "one dimensional" in sticking to his plan not to raises taxes.

"We don't agree with that. We believe that, through working with our gaming partners, we showed a model in which stakeholders can come together and find the solutions to some of our difficult and complex problems that we have in this state."

Nevada educators already are among the lowest-paid workers in the state, adds Warne, and despite that, many teachers still purchase school supplies with their own money because of budget cuts. Lawmakers plan to review Gibbon's budget early next month.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV