Pubdate: Tue, 19 Dec 2006
Source: Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV)
Copyright: 2006 Nevada Appeal
Author: Marlene Garcia


The president of the teacher's association told the  school board 
recently he is confident a revised drug  and alcohol testing policy 
is one educators can accept.

Dave Gustafson stopped short of promising to drop a  demand that the 
proposed drug testing policy become a  negotiated issue in the master contract.

"The way it is right now, I'll do what I can to work it  out," he 
said. "I think we'll have this worked out  before the next (school 
board) meeting. I'm saying  we'll do everything we can, okay?"

The most contentious part of the draft policy was  removed by 
district office administrators.

One provision that was opposed by district employees  required drug 
or alcohol testing whenever an accident  occurred that led to a 
worker's compensation claim  being filed. Employees wanted 
"reasonable suspicion"  added to the requirement for testing.

That section no longer exists in the amended policy.

Now, instead of three conditions where testing would be  required, 
there are five:

After an accident resulting in property damage of $500 or more

Reasonable suspicion to believe the employee is using drugs or alcohol at work

During a pre-employment screening

During a probationary period

For vendor contract compliance

The amount of property damage in an accident was lowered from $1,000 
in the original draft policy to $500 in the revised document.

E.C. Best Elementary School teacher Becky Dodd questioned whether her 
vehicle could be searched while on school property under the proposed 
policy. Dodd, who said she doesn't drink, said there could be a 
situation where an employee has unopened alcohol in their vehicle to 
take to a social event after school hours.

"If I have alcohol in my car and it's all sealed up I don't see why 
that should be a regulation," she said.

Those details in the policy will be worked out in a regulation 
document that outlines how the policy should be enforced.

"They probably can't search your vehicle but while on district 
property you shouldn't have that stuff in your car," said Trustee 
Preston Denney.

District administrators have been working on a drug and alcohol 
testing policy for the past three months.

Finance Director Jim Sustacha told the board the policy was needed to 
help control costs for worker's compensation insurance because claims 
increased dramatically over the past few years.

The board is expected to vote on the amended policy Jan. 25.
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MAP posted-by: Elaine