Wednesday, February 08, 2012

SEIU responds to Register after council vote

The folks at SEIU sent me the following response to MNPS Director Jesse Register's allegations to council members regarding the memorandum of understanding between the union and the school district:

This is the first we're hearing about any issues that Dr. Register had with the MOU. Neither he or any of his executive staff have expressed these concerns to us since Register arrived in Nashville. The point of having an MOU is to be able to have a framework to discuss the conditions of employment and other things crucial to making our schools function. It is Dr. Register's responsibility to bring things like this to our attention - whether it's during bargaining or not. He hasn't. We are and have always been more than happy to work with the administration to improve quality and service to the public, but in this case, Dr. Register was uncommunicative.

As to the validity of what MNPS' claims are... we are still investigating them. There are no dates or names given here so we don't know if these things happened recently, if they happened before the workers even had a union, or if there are some extenuating circumstances in these examples that were not mentioned in MNPS' statement.

In any case, we continue to maintain that Dr. Register should sit down and talk to employee groups, including Local 205, to address concerns on both sides of the table. Our members' children attend Metro Schools, so they want to see them succeed as well. We can do that together, as we have for the last decade with previous adminstrations, though the meet and confer provisions that have been laid out in the MOU. As we saw last night, the Metro Council sees the value in having a process that encourages cooperation between employer and employee. We hope that the School Board sees that as well.

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