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U.T. Study: MNPS Employees Not Happy w/ Register & Changes

March 28, 2012

As was reported by the Nashville City Paper, Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) support staff overwhelmingly disapprove of policy changes made to the Support Staff Handbook unilaterally by Dr. Jesse Register, MNPS director of schools, according to new research conducted by The University of Tennessee.

The surveyed employees include support staff members such as educational assistants, food service workers, campus supervisors, secretaries and bookkeepers. Only half (52.3%) identified themselves as a member of a union. The study asked support staff members’ views on various issues, including:

“School support staff members work every day and to ensure that students across Davidson County are able to learn in safe, stable and productive school environments,” said Doug Collier, president of SEIU Local 205, the group that commissioned the study. “They often work behind the scenes in thankless jobs, but their positive impact on the students’ education and our schools’ cultures is significant.”

In December 2011, Register unveiled policy changes in the Support Staff Handbook that he made without consultation of the school board or support staff. The changes implemented by MNPS include:

“Unfortunately, the Metro Nashville Public School administration believes it has the ability to treat support staff unfairly by robbing these vital school employees of their voices and job security,” Collier continued. “In reality, no one should have the ability to take away the basic rights of employees.”

The study, conducted by the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation at The University of Tennessee, polled a random sample of 400 of the 3,000 total MNPS support staff members. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Read the complete report here.