Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Metro Nashville Public Schools Director caught on tape saying modestly paid MNPS employees have sense of "entitlement" he intends to change

Via Joey Garrison comes a video of Jesse Register speaking plainly when he does not realize he is caught on tape. He also seems to suggest that he would not own up to his more honest characterization on tape. The Human Resources Assistant Superintendent even enables Mr. Register by agreeing openly that he should not say "entitlement" with reference to employees on tape, even though that is what he really means.

Despite the public relations machine at the school district, once in a while brutal honesty cannot be contained. That was a Reaganesque moment. He might as well have called cafeteria workers "welfare queens".

UPDATE: NewsChannel 5 had YouTube scrub the video on the basis of copyright violation. Let's hope that this wasn't an attempt to bury Jesse Register's belittling comments about MNPS workers.

News media. They just don't get it.

They can scrub the video, but they cannot scrub the fact that many of us witnessed the Metro Schools Director and Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations make the following comments:

Jesse Register: "I don't guess I'll say this publicly, but it's really a culture change. It's going from a system where people really felt entitlement. Uh, I don't know whether I'll say that on the air or not, but that's what it is, isn't it?"

June Keel: "I wouldn't say that on the air."


  1. Without context, it is difficult to pass judgement.

    "Entitlement" with regards to salary presumably comes in the expectation of year-over-year raises when a budget can't support that. I don't know if that is what Register was referring to, because the "journalist" apparently didn't follow-up with a question. If that is what he was referring to, and if people actually think that way - well - that is the definition of entitlement.

    If people think a job is theirs no matter how they perform or what the surrounding conditions are, that is entitlement.

    Jesse Register should stand on rooftops and scream "entitlement" if he believes it to be the case, and let the chips fall where they may. Darn PR handlers.

  2. There have not been raises for MNPS employees in years and the unions have not gone to the mat for it because they understand the economic and budget picture for the city has been awful.

    I saw this whole show and I know exactly what the context was. This wasn't about raises or benefits. It was about Register's personal opinions on the people who work for him. Which, frankly, a lot of us already figured out when he sacked 700 custodians (most of them black) two years ago without having to prove that it would save taxpayers money.

    Are we seeing the pattern yet, class?

  3. So, what does he think those employees think they are entitled to?


  4. Compensation and a reasonable degree of job security in exchange for very hard and competent work. Register likes to remind his employees that they can quite easily be replaced by incompetents who will work for half the money, which he can call saving the local taxpayer money, even if those savings are not borne out in his budget. Take for example, the custodians, whose jobs were moved to private management two years ago. This was supposed to save $5 million in the MNPS general budget. Of course, that money (plus some more, if I'm not mistaken) was immediately used to create an office of charter schools, headed up by a six-figure bureaucrat whose formerly temporary position had, up to that point, been funded by a state grant.

  5. How is maintenance at the schools going since the custodian change? I ask because I don't know, and I realize any responses will be anecdotal.

    I do remember schools being closed in August because it was too hot in some schools. The a/c went off too early at night. Stellar job on that one.

    1. You don't no what your are talking about maintenance does not have the budget to fix everything all the time or the man power. We I say we cause I work at maintenance we need more money we would love to fix everything volunteer more of your money and we can update the air conditioning systems in our schools.

  6. I empty my own garbage now along with recycling, teaching and the slaughterhose evaluation system. Our 'custodians' often don't speak English and cannot get the garbage bag in the dumpster...which means trash all around the grounds. In short...it's much worse.